Clinical Applications for Blood Function Assays

Clinical Applications for Blood Function Assays


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In this presentation to the Bioflux User Group in February 2017, Dr Hines describes our vision for clinical applications of a precise blood function assay, in particular to measure Thrombosis in pediatric ICU patients:




James Herrick’s first described the “Peculiar Elongated and Sickle-Shaped Red Blood Corpuscles in a Case of Severe Anemia” in 1910.   Linus Pauling discovered the molecular basis for sickle cell disease (SCD) in 1949.  Since these landmark discoveries, there has only been one FDA-approved therapy for the prevention of SCD-related complications.  Fortunately, this is an historic moment in sickle cell discovery with the largest pipeline of promising SCD-specific drugs in preclinical and clinical trials in the history of the disease.  In addition to targeting hemoglobin polymerization, many of these drugs target the unique erythrocyte adhesive properties that contribute to microvascular obstruction.  Despite this, there is no clinical standard for assessing erythrocyte adhesion.  SCD providers will soon have drugs available to prevent and relieve adhesion-mediated complications, therefore there is an urgent need diagnostic tools to guide drug selection for individual patients and monitor therapeutic response. Dr. Hines has used flow adhesion models to understand the adhesive properties of sickle erythrocytes in a simulated blood flow environment, and has worked to standardize this process for clinical testing.  He recently founded Functional Fluidics, a startup company who has deployed a standardized microfluidic flow-based test into the preclinical and clinical research market.  Dr. Hines will discuss advances in microfluidic flow-based blood function testing, the role these tests are play in preclinical drug validation, and the potential for applications in sickle cell clinical trials and ultimately clinical therapy.
Patrick Hines, MD/PhD
Pediatric Critical Care Medicine Physician, Pulmonary Hypertension Specialist, and Vascular Biology Research Scientist


Patrick Charles Hines is a pediatric critical care medicine physician and a vascular biology research scientist.  He is also founder and CEO of Functional Fluidics.  Dr. Hines and his team developed a method for measuring blood function under simulated flow conditions using small volumes of whole blood in his laboratory at Wayne State University School of Medicine.  Functional Fluidics has further developed this technology for pharmaceutical companies and research scientists to evaluate new therapies for bleeding and clotting disorders.  In recognition of this work, Dr. Hines was selected to the inaugural class of the Aspen Global Leadership Network’s Health Innovators Fellowship.  Dr. Hines completed both his fellowship in critical care medicine and pediatrics residency at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, received his MD and PhD (Pharmacology) from the UNC-Chapel Hill, and completed undergraduate training at Hampton University.

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