Tripartite collaboration of blood-derived endothelial cells, next generation RNA sequencing and bioengineered vessel-chip may distinguish vasculopathy and thrombosis among sickle cell disease patients. Academic Article uri icon


  • Sickle cell disease (SCD) is the most prevalent inherited blood disorder in the world. But the clinical manifestations of the disease are highly variable. In particular, it is currently difficult to predict the adverse outcomes within patients with SCD, such as, vasculopathy, thrombosis, and stroke. Therefore, for most effective and timely interventions, a predictive analytic strategy is desirable. In this study, we evaluate the endothelial and prothrombotic characteristics of blood outgrowth endothelial cells (BOECs) generated from blood samples of SCD patients with known differences in clinical severity of the disease. We present a method to evaluate patient-specific vaso-occlusive risk by combining novel RNA-seq and organ-on-chip approaches. Through differential gene expression (DGE) and pathway analysis we find that BOECs from SCD patients exhibit an activated state through cell adhesion molecule (CAM) and cytokine signaling pathways among many others. In agreement with clinical symptoms of patients, DGE analyses reveal that patient with severe SCD had a greater extent of endothelial activation compared to patient with milder symptoms. This difference is confirmed by performing qRT-PCR of endothelial adhesion markers like E-selectin, P-selectin, tissue factor, and Von Willebrand factor. Finally, the differential regulation of the proinflammatory phenotype is confirmed through platelet adhesion readouts in our BOEC vessel-chip. Taken together, we hypothesize that these easily blood-derived endothelial cells evaluated through RNA-seq and organ-on-chips may serve as a biotechnique to predict vaso-occlusive episodes in SCD patients and will ultimately allow better therapeutic interventions.

published proceedings

  • Bioeng Transl Med

altmetric score

  • 77.4

author list (cited authors)

  • Mathur, T., Flanagan, J. M., & Jain, A.

citation count

  • 4

complete list of authors

  • Mathur, Tanmay||Flanagan, Jonathan M||Jain, Abhishek

publication date

  • September 2021