Vein-Chip device allows study of deep vein thrombosis
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The Vein-Chip device, a miniaturized version of a large human vein, allowed scientists to study changes in vein wall cells, blood flow and other functions that lead to deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in humans, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association’s Vascular Discovery: From Genes to Medicine Scientific Sessions 2020.

What is Vein-Chip:

It is a translucent hollow chamber which serves as a miniature version of a human vein with similar architecture and cellular function.

The chip allows researchers to test various human endothelial cells to differentiate various factors – gender, race, ethnicity and more – revealing which populations may have more or less DVT risk. In the end, the technology might allow for more personalized therapies for vein diseases.

Three discoveries were made in this study of the Vein-Chip. Researchers found:

- Under a normal healthy state, if a DVT risk factor like slowing blood flow occurs, the body might try to adapt by releasing anti-clotting factors. This adaptation happens within the vein pocket only and suggests that medications should be locally delivered at the site most affected by the disease.

- Clot dissolving medications delivered through the vein do not always easily reach the clot in the vein pocket. This suggests new strategies are needed that could enhance the local transport of drugs to the vein pockets.

- Human veins have pockets of different shapes, resulting in different extents of clotting, or thrombosis. As a result, venous architecture is an important DVT contributor.