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A micro-bead device to explore Plasmodium falciparum-infected, spherocytic or aged red blood cells prone to mechanical retention by spleen endothelial slits

  • Guillaume Deplaine1, 2, 3,
  • Innocent Safeukui1, 2,
  • Fakhri Jeddi3,
  • François Lacoste4,
  • Valentine Brousse5,
  • Sylvie Perrot1, 2,
  • Sylvestre Biligui3, 6,
  • Micheline Guillotte1, 2,
  • Corinne Guitton7,
  • Safi Dokmak8,
  • Béatrice Aussilhou8,
  • Alain Sauvanet8,
  • Anne Couvelard9,
  • François Paye10,
  • Marc Thellier3, 6,
  • Dominique Mazier3, 6,
  • Geneviève Milon11,
  • Narla Mohandas12,
  • Odile Mercereau Puijalon1, 2,
  • Peter H David1, 2 and
  • Pierre A Buffet3, 6
Contributed equally
Malaria Journal20109(Suppl 2):O10

Published: 20 October 2010


Blood CellInfectious DiseasePlasmodiumMedical ApplicationRetention Rate

Experimental tools to identify human red blood cells (RBC) prone to mechanical retention upstream from the spleen venous sinus inter-endothelial slits are currently suboptimal. We designed a micro-bead device mimicking the geometry of the human narrow and short inter-endothelial slits. Upon filtration through a mixture of 5-25 μm diameter micro-beads, Plasmodium falciparum-hosting RBC (Pf-RBC) were retained in a parasite developmental stage-dependent way, the retention rates of a subset of ring-RBC being similar in micro-beads and in isolated-perfused human spleens. We found that this retention might be linked principally to the reduced surface-area-to-volume ratio of Pf-RBC. Interestingly, other rigid RBC, such as heat-treated RBC, and RBC from hereditary spherocytosis patients were also retained in micro-beads without any hemolysis. Micro-beads allow (i) depletion of heterogeneous RBC population from its rigid-RBC subpopulation ii) characteriziation of distinct molecular signatures of rigid versus deformable RBC subpopulations. This simple method portends wide medical applications, such as improving the quality of stored RBC concentrates prior to transfusion.


Authors’ Affiliations

Département de Parasitologie Mycologie, Institut Pasteur, Unité d'Immunologie Moléculaire des Parasites, Paris, France
CNRS, Paris, France
INSERM - UPMC (Paris 6 University) UMRs945, Paris, France
Fond Ackermann, Fondation de France
Department of Pediatrics, Necker Hospital, AP-HP, Paris, France
Department of Parasitology, Pitié Salpétrière Hospital, AP-HP, Paris, France
Department of Haematology, Kremlin-Bicêtre Hospital, AP-HP, Le Kremlin-Bicêtre, France
Department of Surgery, Beaujon Hospital, AP-HP, Clichy, France
Department of Pathology, Beaujon Hospital, AP-HP, Clichy, France
Department of Surgery, Saint-Antoine Hospital, AP-HP, Paris, France
Département de Parasitologie Mycologie, Institut Pasteur, mmunophysiologie et Parasitisme Intracellulaire, Paris, France
New York Blood Centre, New York, USA


© Safeukui et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2010

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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