National Physical Laboratory

Super-resolution microscopy as a potential approach to diagnosis of platelet granule disorders.

Westmoreland, D*, Shaw, M, Grimes, W*, Metcalf, D J*, Burden, J J*, Gomez, K*, Knight, A E, Cutler, D F*
Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis, 2016, 14, (4), 839-849
NPL Doc. Ref:
PDB: 8006 | DDB: 6872
Document Type:
Periodical article

Note: An asterisk after an author's name indicates a non-NPL author.


Essentials - Deficiencies in size, number or shape of platelet granules are associated with bleeding symptoms. - Super-resolution microscopy (SRM) facilitates the diagnosis of structural platelet disorders. - SRM can deliver quantitative, automated, unbiased high-throughput morphometric analyses. - Using CD63 as a marker, Hermansky-Pudlak patients are easily distinguished from controls.SummaryBackgroundMany platelet functions are dependent on bioactive molecules released from their granules. Deficiencies of these granules in number, shape or content are associated with bleeding. The small size of these granules is such that imaging them for diagnosis has traditionally required electron microscopy. However, recently developed super-resolution microscopes provide sufficient spatial resolution to effectively image platelet granules. When combined with automated image analysis, these methods provide a quantitative, unbiased, rapidly acquired dataset that can readily and reliably reveal differences in platelet granules between individuals.ObjectiveTo demonstrate the ability of structured illumination microscopy (SIM) to efficiently differentiate between healthy volunteers and three patients with Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome.MethodsBlood samples were taken from three patients with Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome and seven controls. Patients 1-3 have gene defects in HPS1, HPS6 and HPS5, respectively; all controls were healthy volunteers. Platelet-rich plasma was isolated from blood and the platelets fixed, stained for CD63 and processed for analysis by immunofluorescence microscopy, using a custom-built SIM microscope.ResultsSIM can successfully resolve CD63-positive structures in fixed platelets. A determination of the number of CD63-positive structures per platelet allowed us to conclude that each patient was significantly different from all of the controls with 99% confidence.ConclusionsA super-resolution imaging approach is effective and rapid in objectively differentiating between patients with a platelet bleeding disorder and healthy volunteers. CD63 is a useful marker for predicting Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome and could be used in the diagnosis of patients suspected of other platelet granule disorders.

Request This NPL report

Please log in or register to access this functionality.

Further Information

General information about NPL publications and details to contact the British Library for other published papers can be found on the NPL Publications Homepage.


Please note that the information will not be divulged to third parties, or used without your permission