Rmit Technology Leads To Blood Clot Breakthrough - Embargoed

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22nd May 2009, 06:42pm - Views: 1076

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RMIT technology leads to blood clot breakthrough

A world-first micro device developed at RMIT University has enabled researchers

to discover a new way that blood clots can form, in a major breakthrough that will

impact on the treatment and prevention of heart disease and stroke.

The finding is published on Sunday, 24 May, in the prestigious Nature Medicine


Using the RMIT-designed micro device, a research team at the Australian Centre

for Blood Diseases at Monash University was able to prove a new link between

disturbed blood flow and blood clotting, which could help explain why current anti-

clotting drugs remained ineffective.

Associate Professor Arnan Mitchell said the device mimicked the shape of

damaged or diseased blood vessels, while allowing precise control and monitoring

of blood flow. 

“The micro-fluidic device we engineered enabled researchers to precisely replicate

the natural behaviour of blood as it clots near the site of injury,” Associate

Professor Mitchell, who created the device with student Francisco Tovar, said.

“By revealing a new connection between disturbed blood flow and blood clotting,

this platform has helped researchers understand why common anti-clotting drugs

do not always work and gives scientists new targets for therapeutic treatments.”

Blood clotting diseases affect more than half of Australia’s adult population – killing

one Australian nearly every 10 minutes – but four decades of research into anti-

clotting treatments has failed to make a serious impact on mortality rates.

The device developed by RMIT contains tiny micro-fluidic channels, each the width

of a human hair, specially shaped to place blood under mechanical stress. 


Researchers working at the RMIT Platform Technologies Research Institute, in

collaboration with Monash University, hope to develop the technology into a

diagnostic tool that could be used by hospitals to predict excessive or ineffective

blood clotting in patients.

“This research is right at the core of what we do at the Platform Technologies

Research Institute,” Associate Professor Mitchell said.

“Our aim is to engineer platforms that enable researchers to make fundamental

discoveries, making what scientists dream of doing a practical reality.”

For interviews: Associate Professor Arnan Mitchell, or (03) 9925 2457.


For general media enquiries: RMIT University Media and Communications,

Gosia Kaszubska, (03) 9925 3176 or 0417 510 735.

22 May, 2009        EMBARGOED TO: 4AM (EST) MONDAY, 25 MAY

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