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Blaze is an early stage company in Ann Arbor, MI, developing technology to facilitate comprehensive and standardized assessment of blood cell properties– specifically for red blood cell (RBC) hemolysis and mechanical fragility. Blaze’s testing services and products offer profiling of RBC mechanical fragility for various applications. Particularities of the testing can be adapted to each user’s needs. Blaze collaborates with leading institutions to study ways of evaluating blood damage caused or treated by various medical products or being a result of disease – and also develops methods to enhance stored blood utilization based on physiologically relevant RBC properties.
Blaze was formed in 2006 by scientist Michael Tarasev, who partnered with engineer Kenneth Alfano. Blaze’s first patent was filed that year for a hemolysis analyzer, which among other uses provided the novel way of optical analysis utilized by Blaze’s later technology. Subsequent R&D by the founders focused on systems and methods for testing of red blood cell mechanical fragility – a subject of Blaze’s further patents and publications.
Blaze’s vision is to leverage its expertise and proprietary technology to offer services and products that meet the need for better measurement and understanding of blood damage. This serves many areas of industrial R&D and product design (e.g. blood-contacting devices, pharmaceutical development, blood processing/storage systems) as well as basic science and clinical research, the latter of which will in turn set a foundation for medical applications of Blaze’s technology (e.g. transfusion medicine, clinical diagnostics). Blaze also engages in its own research and collaborative studies and is positioned to be a thought leader on technologies for assessing red blood cell membrane health and damage.