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Influence of storage and buffer composition on the mechanical behavior of flowing red blood cells

Publication / Scientific culture

On March 10, 2023

manipulation d’échantillon sanguin

Eight laboratories of the Mécabio Santé research group have shared their know-how and methods to study the influence of the storage and preparation of blood samples on the mechanical behavior of red blood cells. Published in the Biophysical Journal, this work has led to new recommendations to standardize practices and facilitate the comparability of measurements between laboratories.

Easy to collect and store, blood is the subject of numerous in vitro studies. Being made up of a large quantity of deformable cells, mainly red blood cells, it is characterized by a complex mechanical behavior, which impacts its various functions such as the supply of nutrients and oxygen to the organs, the elimination of waste, the regulation of body temperature and active immune surveillance. In France, several research teams have focused on the behavior of blood in the microcirculation, where red blood cells pass through vessels that are barely larger than themselves. But before being used in in vitro experiments, red blood cells are stored and manipulated under conditions that can impact their mechanical properties. However, there is no universal protocol and each research team follows its own empirical methods. Seven laboratories of the Mechanics of Materials and Biological Fluids Research Group  (GDR MÉCABIO1) gathered their researchers around a table to share, compare and test their protocols.

The scientists were thus able to issue new recommendations to minimize the impact of blood storage and preparation conditions on the individual or collective movement of red blood cells under a wide range of flow conditions. Their response must be as close as possible to that expected in a physiological situation. This first step towards a standardization of practices should facilitate the comparison of the mechanical properties of red blood cells between different research teams. This will be of particular benefit to studies on diseases where the mechanical properties of blood are at stake, such as sickle cell disease. These results were published in the Biophysical Journal.


Influence of storage and buffer composition on the mechanical behavior of flowing red blood cells. Adlan Merlo, Sylvain Losserand, François Yaya, Philippe Connes, Magalie Faivre, Sylvie Lorthois, Christophe Minetti, Elie Nader, Thomas Podgorski, Celine Renoux, Gwennou Coupier, and Emilie Franceschini.
Biophysical Journal, Volume 122, Issue 2, 17 January 2023.


On March 10, 2023


Gwennou Coupier
Office 309
LIPhy et GDR MÉCABIO Santé, CNRS (gwennou[dot]coupier[at]univ-grenoble-alpes[dot]fr)


Article available on the open archives database (HAL)

Submitted on February 13, 2024

Updated on February 13, 2024