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Characteristics of Erythrocytes of Patients with Liver and Heart Pathology


A Study of Electric and Viscoelastic Characteristics of Erythrocytes of Patients with Alcohol or Virus-Associated Liver and Heart Diseases

Tech Area / Field

  • BIO-CHM/Biochemistry/Biotechnology
  • MED-DID/Diagnostics & Devices/Medicine
  • MED-OTH/Other/Medicine

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology VECTOR, Russia, Novosibirsk reg., Koltsovo

Supporting institutes

  • RAMS / Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Medical Sciences / Institute of Internal Medicine, Russia, Novosibirsk reg., Novosibirsk


  • Bio-ID Diagnostics, Inc, USA, OH, Cleveland\nCase Western Reserve University / University Hospitals of Cleveland, USA, OH, Cleveland

Project summary

The problem of alcohol and virus-associated lesions of liver and heart is extremely actual due to prevalence of systematic consuming of alcohol (including toxic doses) in Russia as well as, and dissemination of the viruses of hepatitis B and C among the population. The problems of early diagnosis of alcohol and virus-associated lesions of liver and heart are of great theoretical and practical importance.

The great number of biological objects change in the course of diseases of liver and heart (associated or not with alcohol). Erythrocytes play a special role among them. In particular, the alterations of the characteristics that reflect the changes of morphological and functional properties of erythrocytes are of great interest. It is known that an erythrocyte can be considered as a universal model for studies of the changes in cytoplasmatic membranes and metabolism of cells of an organism [1-5].

Erythrocytes are characterized by their physiological viscoelastic characteristics (rigidity and viscosity). Erythrocytes can be deformed and penetrate into capillaries, which are two times smaller in diameter than erythrocytes. Significant changes in the viscoelastic characteristics and agglomeration rate have an effect on the erythrocyte penetration into capillaries, and disturbances of oxygen exchange, that leads to development of such severe diseases as cardiac infarction, ischemia, necrosis, atherosclerosis, thrombosis, etc.

The heart and liver pathologies, which dominate among internal diseases, are primarily connected with virus infections, toxic factors (first of all alcohol), and failures of lipid metabolism. At the same time these agents are capable to alter the structure of diaphragm of erythrocytes and their plasma surrounding. These effects on the one hand, can affect the course of disease, and on the other hand, can provide new means for differential diagnosing.

Studies performed in the SRC VB Vector have shown that erythrocytes experience significant deformation in the non-uniform alternating electric field (NUAEF). As a result of activity on the grant ISTC # 1802 it is established that viruses of influenza, rubella, tick-borne encefalitis have a significant and quick effect on electrical characteristics of membrane (capacity, transmembrane potential) and on the general structure of erythrocytes. However, methods of objective estimation of viscoelastic properties of cells available for practical medicine are not developed till now. Such methods are needed to reveal the precursors of increasing of the blood viscosity, formation of aggregates, ageing of cells, development of hypoxy, ischemia of tissues leading to such severe complications as cardiac infarction, syndrome of disseminated intravascular coagulation, etc. As erythrocytes play the major role in disorders of blood functions the degree of cell deformation (rigidity, viscosity) can be used in wide clinical practice as a valuable characteristic of their state.

The aim of the project is to study the electric and viscoelastic characteristics of erythrocytes of patients with the liver and heart pathology associated with alcohol or other factors for possible use of these characteristics in differential diagnosing and prognosis of these diseases.

The results of the project will be of great interest in prophylaxis and treatment of liver and heart diseases, as well for insurance and recruiting companies when testing the candidates for employing on positions with a high level of responsibility.

The above formulated aim is supposed to be achieved by the efforts of 51 specialists of SRC VB “Vector” in close collaboration with specialists of Institute of Therapy, SB RAMS. They have a great experience in researches of a broad spectrum of microorganisms in solutions as well as in air medium. They have mastered up to date methods of work with cell cultures and viruses. A number of important theoretical, experimental and clinical results have been obtained by them. The results were partly published in a number of papers and presented in international conferences.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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