Transfusion Research Centre

The Transfusion Research Centre (TreC) is one of the Belgian Red Cross-Flanders’ key scientific-research bodies.

In our laboratories, we conduct translational scientific research into blood transfusion. We research biological, chemical and medical issues in relation to collecting, preparing, storing and transfusing blood products (red blood cells, plasma and platelets). Particular emphasis is placed on platelets and their role in dealing with hemorrhages. The findings of the research carried out by the TReC are published internationally in authoritative journals and contribute to enhancing transfusion medicine.

Storing platelets: the focus of our research

Blood plasma can be frozen and red blood cells stored for 40 days in a refrigerator without any significant deterioration in quality. Platelets, on the other hand, can only be stored for up to five days and must be kept at room temperature to limit deterioration.

Why can’t platelets be kept cool or frozen? Why do they no longer function properly after being stored for longer than five-seven days? What biochemical processes are responsible for their condition deteriorating so quickly? What is the best way to ascertain the quality of platelets? And how should we apply new techniques in platelet storage?