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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Washington: New Study Uses Engineered Capillaries to Show How Malaria-infected Red Blood Cells Stall, Block Blood Vessels

Engineered human capillaries are providing an astounding view of how red blood cells transit ultra-small blood vessels.

This new platform was used in a recent study to learn how severe malaria infection causes red cells to get stuck in blood microvessels. As they accumulate, the parasite-infected red cells obstruct the narrowest routes of blood flow in the body.

The way the 3D microvessel model was created with living cells, and the findings it helped glean on the mechanisms of microcirculatory obstruction by severe malaria infection, are reported in a paper in the current issues of Science Advances. Researchers at the University of Washington, Seattle Children’s Research Institute and the UW Medicine Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine conducted the project.

Dr. Joseph D. Smith, a Seattle Children’s infectious disease researcher and affiliate professor in the Department of Global Health (which bridges the University of Washington Schools of Public Health and Medicine), was among the corresponding authors.

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