The Brillance of Ingenuity

CFDRC wins Defense Health Program contract to develop systems biology based tools to optimize blood platelet storage and improve transfusion safety

Huntsville, Ala. | May, 5, 2016 – CFD Research Corporation (CFDRC) has won a $1M DoD contract from the Defense Health Program (DHP) to further develop blood platelet systems biology tools that will be used to optimize platelet storage conditions and to explore novel protocols to enable longer storage and better quality of platelets for safer transfusions. The project will also involve US academia and the American Red Cross.

Vascular trauma is the leading cause of death in military environments and hemorrhage is the major preventable cause of mortality among trauma patients. Recent experience from Iraq and Afghanistan has demonstrated improved 24-h and 30-day survival in combat casualties requiring early massive transfusion. Unlike plasma and erythrocytes, which can be cold stored for longer time periods, platelets can be safely stored only for few days before they develop a condition known as platelet storage lesion (PSL).

In earlier work CFDRC developed multiscale computational tools integrating systems biology, biophysics and physiology to model the deleterious effects of platelet storage and to explore novel storage methods. The model integrates the bag-scale analysis of storage media chemistry, heat transfer and mixing with the cell-scale platelet systems biology. The model, partially validated on test data, correctly predicts metabolic shifts, changes in platelet shape, fall of media pH and other experimentally observed effects. Metabolic and functional advantages of 40C storage and temperature cycling have also been confirmed.

In this follow-on work CFDRC plans complementary computational and experiment efforts to further develop the PSL model and to validate it on benchmark test data.

About CFD Research Corporation: Since its inception in 1987, CFDRC has worked with government agencies, businesses and academia to provide innovative solutions within the Aerospace & Defense, Biomedical & Life Sciences, and Energy & Materials industries. Over the years CFDRC has earned multiple national awards for successful application and commercialization of innovative component/system technology prototypes, multi-physics simulation software and multi-disciplinary analyses. Learn more at

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