Midway between plasma haemostasis and cellular haemostasis are microparticles, rich in procoagulant phospholipids. An increase in this procoagulant activity is described in many disease processes, including cardiovascular disorders, certain cancers, inflammatory syndromes, infectious diseases and more.
It was thus necessary to devise a straightforward standardised automated screening test able to measure these changes in activity in order to allow them to be studied.
Microparticles are the subject of a growing number of communications, posters and publications, attesting to their potential value not just as a major diagnostic or predictive factor, but also as an indicator of the therapeutic efficacy of certain drugs.
Flow cytometry is historically the technique of choice in their investigation:
- counting, identification of cellular origin (platelets, leucocytes, red blood cells, endothelial cells). However, this approach does not provide information about their potential procoagulant activity (phospholipids and tissue factor).
The joint expertise of Stago (blood biochemistry, plasma) and BioCytex (a Stago Group company specialised in microparticles/cellular haemostasis/platelets/flow cytometry, etc) resulted in rapid development of the STA® - Procoag-PPL test kit.
This innovative product, based on the experimental results of an eminent professor in the southern hemisphere, specifically determines the procoagulant activity of phospholipids through assembly of the prothrombinase complex. The assay is rapid (4 minutes), simple, reproducible and automated using routine Stago instruments (STA® range).
In addition, optimisation of the pre-analytical conditions defined for this new test also improves microparticle analysis by flow cytometry.
This development offers a good example of the synergy achievable between academic and industrial research.