GVS Sud Srl, Company owned by the GVS Group, participated in a project which has received funding from the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund, with the ambition to develop two multifunctional, biomimetic filters that will make it possible to capture leukocytes, pathogens and potassium ions from blood and blood products used for transfusions. The new filters will be technologically innovative compared to the state of the art worldwide and will be commercialised by GVS after the end of the project.
For the realisation of the new filters, the following steps were developed in the laboratory and at industrial pilot level:
- Development of an innovative process to hydrophilise the non-wovens that make up the leucodepletion filter. The treatment - based on polyetheramines - not only helps to improve leucodepletion of blood and blood products, but also helps to minimise the activation of cytokines during transfusions;
- Development of a process to functionalise TNTs (with molecules having anionic functional groups) so that potassium ions can be captured from concentrates. Potassium ions can be captured from irradiated erythrocyte concentrates;
- Development of semi-rigid filters in order to maximise retention capacity and blood flow rate by optimising the number of nonwoven layers that make up the filters, their sequence, and the geometry of the half-shells containing the nonwoven.
The final result consists of two prototypes:
- A flexible (semi-rigid) filter for leukodepletion of erythrocyte concentrates that, in addition to capturing leukocytes (as do commercially available filters do) is able to reduce the activation of cytokines during filtration treatments;
- Flexible (semi-rigid) filter to capture extracellular potassium in irradiated and stored erythrocyte concentrates.