We report the development of a microfluidic device for the rapid assay in whole blood of interfacial platelet-protein interactions indicative of the efficacy of antiplatelet drugs, for example, aspirin and Plavix, two of the world's most widely used drugs, in patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD). Because platelet adhesion to surface-confined protein matrices is an interfacial phenomenon modulated by fluid shear rates at the blood/protein interface, and because such binding is a better indicator of platelet function than platelet self-aggregation, we designed, fabricated, and characterized the performance of a family of disposable, self-powered microfluidic chips with well-defined flow and interfacial shear rates suitable for small blood volumes (≤200 μL). This work demonstrates that accurate quantification of cell adhesion to protein matrices, an important interfacial biological phenomenon, can be used as a powerful diagnostic tool in those with CVD, the world's leading cause of death. To enable such measurements, we developed a simple technique to fabricate single-use self-powered chips incorporating shear control (SpearChips). These parallel-plate flow devices integrate on-chip vacuum-driven blood flow, using a predegassed elastomer component to obviate active pumping, with microcontact-printed arrays of 6-μm-diameter fluorescently labeled fibrinogen dots on a cyclic olefin polymer base plate as a means to quantitatively count platelet-protein binding events. The use of SpearChips to assess in whole blood samples the effects of GPIIb/IIIa and P2Y12 inhibitors, two important classes of "antiplatelet" drugs, is reported.
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