Most blood-contacting medical devices must be assessed for potential thrombogenicity prior to regulatory approval. A common assay for screening and qualifying devices involves monitoring the reduction of platelet and leukocyte (P&L) counts in whole blood exposed to the device. We have validated an improved method for assessing a device's effect on platelet activation and surface adhesion, offering significant improvement over the current ASTM F2888-13 method, which uses blood fully anticoagulated by acidified citrate (known to significantly inhibit platelet responsiveness). Our method uses minimal heparinization (final concentration 1 IU/mL) to optimize the response to commonly used control materials: latex, black rubber, and high-density polyethylene (HDPE). We also have shown the assay's capacity to appropriately assess a legally marketed comparator device (LMCD) with a documented clinical history. The test materials were prepared for incubation and allowed to remain in contact with the citrated or heparinized blood for ∼1 h at 37 °C. A complete blood count was performed prior to exposure, and at the end of the incubation period, reductions in P&L counts were recorded. Results from citrate-anticoagulated assay showed only a marginal response to the positive control, black rubber. Using heparinized blood, the assay generated a robust response to the positive controls, the “intermediate scoring” controls, and also assessed a legally marketed and approved device as clearly nonthrombogenic. This modification adds robustness and sensitivity to this quick and inexpensive thrombogenicity assay and should be incorporated into the next ASTM standards.

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