At the University of Erlangen8217;s Max Planck Institute in Germany, scientists are looking for the causes of Long COVID, or post-COVID-19, syndrome in which patients suffer from lingering breathlessness, tightness in the chest, or fatigue.
8220;We8217;ve seen many different blood cells react very strongly 8211; they get bigger and have a greater volume. Some become more malleable, others become more rigid. These characteristics might have something to do with the cells not passing through the capillaries as easily 8212; and instead getting stuck in the lungs8221;, says Jochen Guck, Director at the Max Planck Institute.
To measure the cells8217; malleability, scientists have developed a so-called chip, which contains tiny holes, finer than a human hair. Blood is pumped through these canals and filmed with a high-speed camera. The result? Healthy blood cells become rod-shaped. Infected ones remain round clumps.
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