Organ-on-Chip for Blood Clot assessment

Streamlining the point-of-care testing of blood clots

Engineering microfluidic solutions for the rapid and accurate diagnosis of blood clots by simulating human vessels on small chips.

Fatal cases have been reported in COVID-19 vaccine recipients caused by blood clotting. Concerns of blood clots hindered the vaccine rollout for the general public and no efficient screening tests are available for the prediction of blood clotting, negatively impacting national economy and social freedom. In response to this grand challenge, this project aims to develop efficient point-of-care (POC) microdevices to help people predict their risk of blood clots risks when making health choices, such as COVID-19 vaccination.

Organ-on-chip is a promising solution for assessing blood clot formation and holds great potential for marketable POC microdevices. To this end, chief investigators Dr. Arnold Ju and Dr. Freda Passam are spearheading the Grand Challenge aiming to engineer innovative microdevices and assess why some people are more susceptible to blood clotting than others. Specifically, we will build disease-mimicking artificial blood vessels on a microfluidic chip, or ‘Endo-chip’, by combining photo-lithography and tissue engineering to mimic haemodynamic conditions in the circulatory system. In the first instance, we will apply this technology to screen individuals for increased clotting tendency after receiving COVID-19 vaccination. This project is of utmost national importance with the continuing spread of COVID-19 and need for vaccination.

Chief Investigators Dr. Arnold Ju and Dr. Freda Passam are spearheading the Grand Challenge aiming to understand why some people are more susceptible to blood clotting than others.

A long-term vision is to extend the testing for the diagnosis and management of broader thrombotic diseases.

Our approach is outlined below:

  1. In response to the vaccine thrombosis problem, this GC project will develop Endo-chips to inform why and how blood clots form preferably in the veins of the brain. We will elucidate underlying mechanisms and risk factors for the development of clots after vaccination.
  2. The success of this Grand Challenge allows us to work with clinicians, public health researchers, and policymakers to improve the safety of vaccinations and reduce the healthcare burden caused by blood clots, of great importance for public health and safety.
  3. In the long run, our vision is to translate the Endochip into a diagnostic tool for other blood clotting health problems such as heart attack and stroke. 

Team Members

Mr. Fengtao Jiang

Ms. Yingqi (Kaitlyn) Zhang

Mr. Yunduo (Charles) Zhao

Mr. Alexander Dupuy

Mr. Arian Nasser

Arnold Lining Ju

Senior Lecturer
  • Room 572 Electrical Engineering J03

Freda Passam

Clinical Academic Haematologist, RPA Hospital, University of Sydney, Group Leader, Haematology Research, Heart Research Institute
  • Room 3116, Level 3 East Charles Perkins Centre D17