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Cellix Solutions mimic microvascular thrombosis accelerating COVID-19 research

Updated: Aug 28, 2020

Cardiovascular involvement in COVID-19 - key manifestations and hypothetical mechanisms
Cardiovascular involvement in COVID-19 - key manifestations and hypothetical mechanisms, [1].

For more than 15 years, Cellix has provided researchers with solutions for mimicking physiological conditions of human blood vessels and for quantifying cell adhesion, rolling and migration including platelet adhesion, aggregation, and thrombi formation.

VenaFlux platforms help our customers to study mechanisms in inflammation, cancer, cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis and thrombosis.

As the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic evolves, there is mounting evidence that the cardiovascular system plays a role in the pathophysiology of COVID-19 disease.

Microthrombi in the alveolar capillaries of a Lung tissue sample from a Patient who died from COVID-19.
Microthrombi in the alveolar capillaries of a Lung tissue sample from a Patient who died from COVID-19, [2].

Numerous studies published to date indicate that patients with COVID-19 develop several interlinked conditions:

  • Severe systemic inflammation due to cytokine storm.

  • Endothelial Dysfunction due to coronavirus targeting ACE-2 receptors on endothelial cells of varous organs.

  • Microvascular Thrombosis - this newsletter focuses on this aspect and gives information how Cellix solutions could help you in COVID-19 research.

Recent studies of critically ill patients with COVID-19 pneumonia admitted to intensive care units suggested that up to 50% of them had thrombotic complications. It has been reported [2] that COVID-19 causes massive inflammation boosting cytokines, which increase the liver’s production of clotting factors. For example, fibrinogen levels in a severely ill COVID-19 patient are 10-14 g/L, compared with 2-4 g/L normally and 5-6 g/L in a pregnant women, [3].  Post-mortem studies are finding clots in the capillaries of the lungs in COVID-19 patients, restricting the oxygenated blood from moving through the lungs. According to Beverley Hunt, medical director of Thrombosis UK, [3]:

“We are not only seeing high rates of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolisms in covid patients but we are also seeing immunothrombosis with lung destruction because of inflammation.”

Cellix's solutions help researchers to model microvascular thrombosis in-vitro by recreating the physiological conditions of human blood vessels.  These tools facilitate understanding and development of potent doses of drugs or novel therapies to reduce thrombotic events in COVID-19.

Cellix recommended products for microvascular thrombosis studies:

In one model, our engineered microcapillaries of the Vena8 Fluoro+ biochip can be coated with collagen, vWF, fibrinogen or tissue factor to imitate damaged blood vessels and thrombotic events.

In another model, microcapillaries of the Vena8 Endothelial+ biochip can be lined with lung microvascular endothelial cells and stimulated with pro-inflammatory cytokines to imitate endothelial damage.

In both models, with help of VenaFlux platform researchers can image and quantify platelet adhesion, aggregation and the dynamics of thrombi formation of platelets from whole blood to expressed ligands on the surface of biochip or endothelial cell layer.

We have options to suit every budget so if you would like to learn more or receive a quotation, get in touch now.



  1. The European Society for Cardiology. ESC Guidance for the Diagnosis and Management of CV Disease during the COVID-19 Pandemic. (Last update: 10 June 2020)

  2. M. Ackermann et al. Pulmonary vascular endothelialitis, thrombosis, and angiogenesis in COVID-10New England Journal of Medicine. Published online May 21, 2020. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa2015432. 

  3. Jacqui Wise.  Covid-19 and thrombosis: what do we know about the risks and treatment?  BMJ 2020;369:m2058 doi: 10.1136/bmj.m2058 (Published 21 May 2020)

  4. Cassandra Willyard.  Coronavirus blood-clot mystery intensifies.  Nature 581, 250 (2020), doi: 10.1038/d41586-020-01403-8

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