Publication Date

Fall 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Anand . Ramasubramanian


Blood clot, Dielectric, Impedance, permittivity, Red Blood Cells

Subject Areas

Materials Science


This work reports the use of dielectric spectroscopy to study blood and blood clots. A

test setup was developed and electrode behavior was characterized with water and salt

solutions. By measuring changes in electrical permittivity, trends differentiating clotting

and non-clotting blood were identified. Non-clotting blood exhibited an increase in

normalized permittivity at high frequencies that is credited to the sedimentation of red

blood cells (RBCs) in static blood samples. Clotting blood was found to show a decrease

in permittivity after some time at high frequencies. This is associated with the aggregation

of red blood cells. Platelet rich plasma (PRP) and RBCs were separated and measured so

their effects on permittivity could be studied in isolation. PRP was found to exhibit no

change in electrical measurements. RBCs in PBS had a muted response compared to that

of whole blood. Measurements were also performed on blood treated with TF, TRAP-6,

ADP and thrombin, where decreased clotting time was observed and corresponded to

earlier drops in normalized permittivity. Different phases of clotting including initiation,

polymerization, and completion were identified and potential diagnostic and clinical

relevance is discussed.

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