Publication Date

Fall 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Chemical and Materials Engineering


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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