Platelets stop you from bleeding.
Our bioreactor makes platelets.

“There are two quantitative roadblocks to the development of ex vivo-generated, donor-independent platelet for therapeutic use: first, generating sufficient numbers of megakaryocytes from a reasonable number of starting cells, and second, generating sufficient numbers of viable and functional platelets per megakaryocyte.”

- Lambert et al. Blood. 121:3319-3324. 2013

Platelets are the ‘bandaids’ of the bloodstream.
They are the cells in your blood that stop you from bleeding.

Over 2 million Americans receive life-saving platelet transfusions annually for cancer treatment, transplants, and surgery.

Platelets store for only 5 days due to bacterial contamination of product during collection from human donors.


Demand: Their 5-day shelf life results in a high risk of platelet unit depletion. By 2019 unmet demand for platelets will exceed supply by 533K platelet units. Collection challenges eliminate 24% of this product.

This shortfall is exacerbated during emergencies when platelet need is greatest. Blood centers typically don’t have more than a 1.5 day platelet inventory.

Safety: The risk of viral/bacterial contamination and immune reaction following platelet transfusions is high. We can’t screen for viruses we don’t know exist, which means there will be another HIV or Hepatitis C-like crisis in our lifetime.


A platelet bioreactor to produce a scalable, donor-independent (safer) platelet product.


We mimic human bone marrow to trigger platelet production from megakaryocytes (parent cells).

We scale platelet production to meet human clinical need.

We improve platelet purity to generate bacterial/viral-free, immune-compatible human platelets that are safer for human infusion.

We distribute bioreactor platelets to hospitals and blood banks to give to patients.


Platelet bioreactor-on-a-chip

Blood. 2014; Epub ahead of print.
PMID: 25049277

Biochip mimics how the body produces platelets so they could be made in a lab

Deanna Pogorelc. April 21, 2014

The Platelet Whisperers

Tom Ulrich. March 27, 2014

Biomanufacture of human platelets for transfusion: Rationale and approaches

Exp Hemtaol. 2014; 42:332-46.
PMID: 24667682

Inducing translation

Nat Biotech. 2013;31:483-486.
PMID: 23752423

Challenges and promises for the development of donor-independent platelet transfusions

Blood. 2013; 121:3319-24.
PMID: 23321255

Mimicking milieus to produce platelets… for science and transfusion

Tom Ulrich. March 5, 2012

Medical countermeasures for platelet regeneration after radiation exposure

Report of a workshop and guided discussion sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Bethesda, MD, March 22-23, 2010
Radiat Res. 2011; 176:e0001-15.
PMID: 21545291

Contact Us

Dr. Jonathan N. Thon