468157 Detecting Autologous Blood Transfusions Using Dielectrophoretic Spectroscopy

Tuesday, November 15, 2016: 1:30 PM
Embarcadero (Parc 55 San Francisco)
Francesca Crivellari1, Nicholas Mavrogiannis1 and Zachary R. Gagnon2, (1)Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, (2)Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

The desire to increase performance in professional athletes has driven some to turn to artificial methods to achieve this end. Autologous blood transfusions – the collection and subsequent reinfusion of a person’s own blood – currently lack a direct test for detection, and has for that reason become a popular “banned method” in performance enhancement. The Athlete’s Biological Passport is meant to monitor an athlete’s long-term trends in numerous biomarkers, and use abnormal variations in the markers to potentially identify blood-doping. It does provide an indirect means of identifying autologous blood doping, but there still lacks a direct detection method.

Using a combination of membrane protein cross-linking and dielectrophoretic spectroscopy, we demonstrate the ability to directly detect the presence of 5% reinfused red blood cells (RBCs) in fresh blood. This corresponds to one transfusion unit of whole blood.

Red blood cells aging in storage undergo biochemical changes that normal RBCs in circulation do not. This includes changes in cell membrane composition and cell morphology. When stored ex vivo, RBCs begin to lose the number of membrane-bound proteins. This physiological change offers less surface proteins available for cross-linking, resulting in a different dielectrophoretic spectra for stored cells compared to that of fresh RBCs. We use differences in these spectra to discern storage-related changes to blood cell morphology and composition, as a means to directly detect autologous blood doping in athletes.

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