Modulation of Platelet Function

Technology #ua14-085

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Marvin Slepian
Professor, Medicine
Managed By
Rakhi Gibbons
Asst. Director, Life Sciences (520) 626-6695

Background: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death worldwide, responsible for over 17 million deaths per year. At the beginning of the 20th century, cardiovascular disease was responsible for less than 10% of all deaths worldwide, but by the start of the 21st century, CVD was responsible for about 30% of all deaths worldwide.  Anti-platelet drugs are often used to prevent and/or treat cardiovascular diseases, and these drugs are in high demand. Although oral and IV anti-platelet medications may prevent the formation of blood clots, blood platelets of patients with mechanical circulatory support devices are subject to higher levels of shear physical stress. This leads to a higher incidence of platelet activation and aggregation, which may lead to increased thrombosis.


Invention: This novel invention provides a method to limit the effects of shear stress from MCS devices on the platelet cells of patients with congestive heart failure. The invention has been shown to reduce platelet activation and aggregation in vivo by mitigating the effects of shear stress by increasing platelet membrane fluidity.


Application: Shear stress on platelets is common in patients with congestive heart failure who have been implanted with a MCS device. Although MCS devices can prolong life for patients who are awaiting a heart transplant, the pressure associated with these devices can cause platelet membrane fragmentation or disruption into the bloodstream, which may cause both local and distant blood clot formation. This can lead to both reduced MCS device flow functionality, as well as potential death of the patient due to reduced cardiac output, stroke, and/or heart attack. This invention can be applied to reduce or prevent thrombosis in this patient population.


Advantages: This invention offers a significant benefit to patients who need mechanical circulatory support devices. By preventing platelet activation and aggregation, this technology could allow clinicians to more confidently use MCS devices, including using the devices for a longer duration and/or at higher rates of pump functionality to maximize cardiac benefit and reduce the risk of thrombosis.


Lead Inventor: Dr. Marvin Slepian


UA ID: UA14-085