New technology is helping to differentiate the type of blood cots based on their origin of cause. This tool will guide physicians in the future to identify the target that caused the blood clot that helps them formulate the treatment.
Blood clots are nothing but platelets that clump together, which helps to stop bleeding during a vessel injury. This is really helpful in cases like injury as it prevents blood loss. However, these clots can be dangerous in situations where these cots travel through our bloodstreams and cause fatal conditions like stroke or cardiac arrest. Although these blood clots are similar, they are made by different substances, researchers say. Differentiating these blood clots is really difficult unless we have microscopes to study them apart. To develop more effective techniques, researchers from the University of Tokyo took blood samples from various patients and exposed them to clotting agents. They then captured these clots using high-throughput imaging flow cytometry.
The researchers further proceeded to a machine learning technique called a convolutional neural network. The basic idea was to make the machine identify subtle differences in the shape and size of different clots caused by different molecules. On testing about 25,000 new samples, the machine was able to identify most of the clots caused by different molecules. On a final test, the machine, going by the name intelligent platelet aggregate classifier (iPAC), was subjected to identify clots from human samples. So, blood samples from four healthy people were exposed to iPAC. It was seen that it was able to tell different blood clots apart. One of the experts added that iPAC is a powerful tool in studying the underlying mechanism of clot formation.
With diseases like COVID-19 causing blood clots inside our bodies, this technology could answer many mysteries. Machines like iPAC will help physicians in understanding clots caused by various reasons. Such an understanding will help them in forming treatment protocols, thereby saving their lives.
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