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Non-invasive Spectroscopy of Transfusable Red Blood Cells Stored Inside Sealed Plastic Blood-Bags

TitleNon-invasive Spectroscopy of Transfusable Red Blood Cells Stored Inside Sealed Plastic Blood-Bags
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsBuckley, K, Atkins, CG, Chen, D, Schulze, HG, Devine, DV, Blades, MW, Turner, RFB
Volumein press

After being separated from (donated) whole blood, red blood cells are suspended in specially formulated additive solutions and stored (at 4°C) in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) blood-bags until they are needed for transfusion. The prepared red cell concentrate (RCC) is known to undergo biochemical changes with time, the changes lower effectiveness of the transfusion and thus regulations are in place that limit the storage period to 42 days. At present, RCC is not subjected to analytical testing prior to transfusion. In this study, we use Spatially Offset Raman Spectroscopy (SORS) to probe, non-invasively, the biochemistry of RCC inside sealed blood-bags. The retrieved spectra compare well with conventional Raman spectra (of sampled aliquots) and are dominated by features associated with haemoglobin. In addition to the analytical demonstration that SORS can be used to retrieve RCC spectra from standard clinical blood-bags without breaking the sterility of the system, the data reveal interesting detail about the oxygenation-state of the stored cells themselves; namely that some blood-bags contain measurable amounts of deoxygenated hemoglobin even after weeks of storage. The fact that chemical information can be obtained non-invasively using spectroscopy will enable new studies of RCC degeneration, and points the way to a Raman-based instrument for quality-control in a blood-bank or hospital setting.