Breaking News
April 24, 2018 - Study shows people might develop dementia later and live with it for a shorter period of time
April 24, 2018 - EMBL scientists develop new illumination method to manage neuropathic pain
April 24, 2018 - New compound could offer pain-relieving properties without risk of addiction
April 24, 2018 - New drug treatment could be promising therapeutic approach for millions with asthma
April 24, 2018 - Study provides guidance on using cannabis for treatment of stress, anxiety, and depression
April 24, 2018 - By Royal approval: Queen’s Award success for Elucigene
April 24, 2018 - The role of ‘extra’ DNA in cancer evolution and therapy resistance
April 24, 2018 - Researchers identify tools that caregivers could use to detect delirium in older adults
April 24, 2018 - What to Look Out For
April 24, 2018 - Drugs prescribed for newborns vary widely between NICUs, study finds
April 24, 2018 - FM4200 pressure-resistant mass flow meter from Sensirion
April 24, 2018 - Study links past experiences with bias and avoidance of doctors in women with higher BMI
April 24, 2018 - Role of extrachromosomal pieces of DNA in cancer development and treatment resistance
April 24, 2018 - Rehabilitation technique for stroke appears beneficial for multiple sclerosis patients
April 24, 2018 - Catalyst Pharmaceuticals Announces Submission of New Drug Application for Firdapse for Treatment of Lambert-Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome
April 24, 2018 - Suicide and homicide rates show large racial disparities across US states
April 24, 2018 - NuProbe to commercialize Wyss Institute’s new technology to facilitate precision medicine
April 24, 2018 - Special series explores pasteurized donor human milk use for hospitalized infants
April 24, 2018 - Slight changes in patient’s position during radiotherapy may impact survival chances
April 24, 2018 - FDA Approves Tagrisso (osimertinib) as First-Line Treatment for EGFR-Mutated Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
April 24, 2018 - After knee replacement, play on
April 24, 2018 - Contact precautions do not limit spread of drug-resistant bacteria in ICUs
April 24, 2018 - Researchers discover genetic catalysts that accelerate evolution of antibiotic resistance in bacteria
April 24, 2018 - WPI researcher launches mobile app for assessing perinatal depression in women
April 24, 2018 - Researchers identify superior blood-based biomarker for assessing sports-related concussions
April 24, 2018 - Gene Therapy Found to Be Promising for β-Thalassemia
April 24, 2018 - Bariatric surgery can lead to changes in relationship status
April 24, 2018 - GPs must embrace digital technologies to make healthcare access easier for patients
April 24, 2018 - Novel stem cell therapy may transform current paradigms for treating heart failure patients
April 24, 2018 - Maternal depression during and after pregnancy linked to poorer child neurodevelopment
April 24, 2018 - Vitamin D and magnesium supplements provide right nutritional support to athletes
April 24, 2018 - Could a Tattoo Someday Spot Your Cancer?
April 24, 2018 - Throat reflexes differ in people with tetraplegia and sleep apnea
April 24, 2018 - Study shows no increased risk of breast cancer recurrence after DIEP flap reconstruction
April 24, 2018 - Nearly three-quarters of commonly used medical scopes tainted by bacteria
April 24, 2018 - Home-based treatment program offers robust and sustained relief for IBS patients
April 24, 2018 - New IntelliCyt Cy-Clone PLUS streamlines clone ranking and selection for cell line development
April 24, 2018 - Scientists examine how specific eating patterns could help fight cancer and obesity
April 24, 2018 - Study sheds new light on how bilinguals process language
April 24, 2018 - Probiotics can improve liver health, shows study
April 24, 2018 - Study may explain how chemoresistance evolves over time in some triple-negative breast cancers
April 24, 2018 - Role of midbrain in encoding identity errors
April 23, 2018 - Salamander study provides clues for treating spinal cord injuries
April 23, 2018 - Relaxation after work could give better night’s sleep
April 23, 2018 - Loneliness on its way to becoming Britain’s most lethal condition
April 23, 2018 - Low-cost blood test for multiple myeloma can deliver same diagnostic information as bone biopsy
April 23, 2018 - Metabolic differences may contribute to postpartum weight retention in black moms
April 23, 2018 - Time-Related Deployment Factors Predict Suicide Attempt Risk
April 23, 2018 - Are newborns ugly? Research says newborns rated ‘less cute’ than older babies
April 23, 2018 - Prenatal marijuana use linked to increased chance of low birth weights
April 23, 2018 - Researchers identify target gene in P. aeruginosa infection
April 23, 2018 - New studies related to causes of liver degradation and possible treatments
April 23, 2018 - Studies offer leads for new approaches to treat neurological problems
April 23, 2018 - Promising cell study may offer new opportunities for treating Parkinson’s disease
April 23, 2018 - Gene Therapy May Be Cure for Some With Rare Blood Disorder
April 23, 2018 - Obesity impacts liver health in kids as young as eight years old
April 23, 2018 - Frequent cannabis use by young people linked to small reductions in cognitive function
April 23, 2018 - Innovative research could lead to new ways to treat, prevent cancer
April 23, 2018 - Study uncovers possible source of gender differences in migraines
April 23, 2018 - Study proves usefulness of EDX testing in diagnosis, management of neuromuscular disorders
April 23, 2018 - Hacking ‘drug trafficking’ system could increase effectiveness of diabetes treatment
April 23, 2018 - Clinical trial to examine stem cell therapy for treatment, prevention of complications after traumatic injury
April 23, 2018 - Targeted radiotherapy found to be a good option for women with early breast cancer
April 23, 2018 - Eating fish could prevent Parkinson’s disease
April 23, 2018 - Philips showcases dedicated radiation oncology solutions at ESTRO 2018
April 23, 2018 - Key factor in development of Parkinson’s disease identified
April 23, 2018 - Higher consumption of fish linked to better neurological health
April 23, 2018 - Genevac announces HT Series 3 evaporators with Inert Gas Purge option
April 23, 2018 - Researchers clarify immune response for patients with breast cancer brain metastases
April 23, 2018 - Polypharmacy More Likely for Cancer Survivors
April 23, 2018 - Obesity is shifting cancer to young adults
April 23, 2018 - Scientists illustrate role of novel chromosomal mutations in fosfomycin resistance
April 23, 2018 - Newly developed drug compound may help treat Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease
April 23, 2018 - Marriage Means ‘I Do’ for Skin Cancer Detection
April 23, 2018 - Freezing hunger-signaling nerve may help ignite weight loss
April 23, 2018 - Wear exoskeletons with caution for heavy lifting, researchers say
April 23, 2018 - Research offers new hope for healing wounds in patients with diabetes
April 23, 2018 - Shorter courses of radiotherapy found to be safe, effective for prostate cancer patients
April 23, 2018 - Scientists use CRISPR tool to make multiple edits to DNA samples ‘in vitro’
April 23, 2018 - Knee reconstructions are on the rise among the youth in Australia
Measuring neutrophil motility could lead to accurate sepsis diagnosis

Measuring neutrophil motility could lead to accurate sepsis diagnosis

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print
After a drop of blood is placed into the central chamber of this microfluidic device, neutrophils can enter the mazes of channels on each side, while red blood cells and other components are retained in the chamber. Patterns of neutrophil migration within the channels can distinguish between patients with and without sepsis. Credit: Felix Ellett, PhD, BioMEMS Resource Center, Department of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital

A microfluidic device developed by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators may help solve a significant and persistent challenge in medicine—diagnosing the life-threatening complication of sepsis. In their paper published in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering, the research team describes how their device accurately diagnosed sepsis by measuring the movement patterns of the white blood cells called neutrophils from a single drop of blood.

“We found that neutrophils from sepsis patients exhibit specific spontaneous migration patterns when tested in whole blood samples,” says Felix Ellett, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in the BioMEMS Resource Center in the MGH Department of Surgery, lead author of the study. “During sepsis, factors present in the plasma of these patients induce neutrophils to migrate spontaneously when placed into the mazes of our microfluidic device, and we were able to identify migration patterns specific to sepsis.”

An out-of-control immune response that can damage organs and tissues throughout the body, sepsis affects more than one million U.S. patients each year, around 25 percent of whom do not survive. Current diagnostic methods are imprecise, and the condition is misdiagnosed in 30 percent of patients, leading to treatment delays that significantly increase the risk of death. It has been estimated that for every hour that sepsis diagnosis is delayed, the risk of death increases by almost 8 percent.

Neutrophil dysfunction is known to be a hallmark of sepsis, and a 2014 study led by Daniel Irimia, MD, Ph.D., associate director of the BioMEMS Resource Center and senior author of the current study, found that changes in the movements of isolated neutrophils—including rapid, spontaneous motion not induced by a chemical attractant—could predict which patients were likely to develop sepsis. This led the investigators to hypothesize that measuring the spontaneous movement or motility of neutrophils in a whole blood sample could amplify the changes observed in that earlier study.

The device they designed—around 5 millimeters in diameter—consists of a central chamber surrounded by filters that keep red blood cells and other blood components confined. Neutrophils are able to pass through the filters and enter a maze of channels within which their patterns of motion can be observed. By analyzing these patterns in blood samples taken from 23 intensive care patients at various times during hospitalization, the research team identified five neutrophil parameters—number of neutrophils, their oscillations within the channels, the time spent not moving, reverse migration back into the central chamber, and the average distance migrated—that could be used to develop a Sepsis Score that accurately discriminated samples patients with sepsis from those without. They confirmed these observations by testing samples from a separate group of 19 patients from a different ICU, and their results were more than 95 percent accurate in determining whether patients did or did not have sepsis.

“Using blood samples taken from patients on the first day of hospitalization, the assay identified sepsis patients with very high accuracy” says Jarone Lee, MD, medical director of the Blake 12 Intensive Care Unit at MGH and a co-author of the report. “We believe that this approach may allow us to identify patients at risk of developing sepsis earlier than any current method.” Additional studies of this assay in larger and more diverse groups of patients are now underway at the MGH.

Irimia says, “The striking performance of the assay in this study brings into focus the fundamental role that neutrophils play during sepsis. Neutrophils have long been suspected of playing a role in sepsis, but until now tools for studying neutrophil function were rudimentary. The combination of new tools and the spontaneous, sepsis-specific motility we described in 2014 was essential to making diagnostic progress, and further studies may guide the development of treatment regimens that can correct neutrophil dysfunction and eventually prevent sepsis before it occurs.”


Explore further:
HMGB1 may be linked to immunosuppression in patients who survive septic shock

More information:
Diagnosis of sepsis from a drop of blood by measurement of spontaneous neutrophil motility in a microfluidic assay, Nature Biomedical Engineering (2018).

nature.com/articles/doi:10.1038/s41551-018-0208-z

Journal reference:
Nature Biomedical Engineering

Provided by:
Massachusetts General Hospital

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles