Hemorheological implications of perfluorocarbon based oxygen carrier interaction with colloid plasma expanders and blood



Perfluorocarbon (PFC) emulsions used as artificial oxygen carriers lack colloid osmotic pressure (COP) and must be administered with colloid-based plasma expanders (PEs). Although PFC emulsions have been widely studied, there is limited information about PFC emulsion interaction with PEs and blood. Their interaction forms aggregates due to electrostatic and rheological phenomena, and change blood rheology and blood flow. This study analyzes the effects of the interaction between PFC emulsions with blood in the presence of clinically-used PEs. The rheological behavior of the mixtures was analyzed in vitro in parallel with in vivo analysis of blood flow in the microcirculation using intravital microscopy, when PEs were administered in a clinically relevant scenario. The interaction between the PFC emulsion and PE with blood produced PFC droplets and red blood cell (RBCs) aggregation and increased blood viscosity in a shear dependent fashion. The PFC droplets formed aggregates when mixed with PEs containing electrolytes, and the aggregation increased with the electrolyte concentration. Mixtures of PFC with PEs that produced PFC aggregates also induced RCBs aggregation when mixed with blood, increasing blood viscosity at low shear rates. The more viscous suspension at low shear rates produced a blunted blood flow velocity profile in vivo compared to nonaggregating mixtures of PFC and PEs. For the PEs evaluated, human serum albumin produced minimal to undetectable aggregation. PFC and PEs interaction with blood can affect sections of the microcirculation with low shear rates (e.g., arterioles, venules, and pulmonary circulation) when used in a clinical setting, because persistent aggregates could cause capillary occlusion, decreased perfusion, pulmonary emboli or focal ischemia. © 2013 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 29:796–807, 2013