ERYTHROID SYSTEM AND ITS DISEASES: Edited by Narla Mohandas and Sandrina KinetBiophysical and rheological biomarkers of red blood cell physiology and pathophysiologyGurkan, Umut A.a,b,cAuthor Information aMechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, Case Western Reserve University bBiomedical Engineering Department, Case Western Reserve University cCase Comprehensive Cancer Center, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA Correspondence to Umut A. Gurkan, PhD, Warren E. Rupp Associate Professor, Case Western Reserve University, 10900 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, Ohio 44106, USA. Tel: +1 (216) 368-6447; e-mail: [email protected]; Web: https://engineering.case.edu/profiles/uxg23 Current Opinion in Hematology: May 2021 - Volume 28 - Issue 3 - p 138-149 doi: 10.1097/MOH.0000000000000639 Buy Metrics Abstract Purpose of review This review summarizes the significant biophysical and rheological aspects of red blood cell physiology and pathophysiology in relation to recent advances in microfluidic biomarker assays and emerging targeted or curative intent therapies. Recent findings Alterations in red cell biophysical properties and blood rheology have been associated with numerous hematologic and circulatory disorders. Recent advances in biomarker assays enable effective assessment of these biophysical and rheological properties in normoxia or physiological hypoxia in a clinically meaningful way. There are emerging targeted or curative therapies that aim to improve red cell pathophysiology, especially in the context of inherited hemoglobin disorders, such as sickle cell disease. Summary Red cell pathophysiology can be therapeutically targeted and the improvements in membrane and cellular biophysics and blood rheology can now be feasibly assessed via new microfluidic biomarker assays. Recent advances provide a new hope and novel treatment options for major red cell ailments, including inherited hemoglobin disorders, membrane disorders, and other pathologies of the red cell, such as malaria. Copyright © 2021 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.