Novel Laboratory Model Reveals Clues to How Blood Starts Clotting
Approach has potential to reveal mechanisms behind variety of reactions within the body
Researchers at the University of Chicago have crafted a simple model for predicting when and where hemostasis -- the technical term for blood clotting -- will occur. The microfluidic system that they created focuses on the interactions between blood and surfaces patterned to trigger blood clotting. It allows the researchers to separately monitor clotting in both blood plasma and a chemical model.
The researchers, led by National Science Foundation CAREER awardee Rustem Ismagilov, believe the methodology may prove useful in a range of studies, adding a powerful tool for predicting the dynamics of other complex biochemical networks.
The system successfully modeled the workings of a complex biochemical network by showing how the start of clotting depends upon localization of clotting stimuli. The researchers were even able to use the model to predict behavior that they later confirmed with human blood plasma, finding that blood can be exposed to significant amounts of clotting stimuli, such as tissue factor, without initiating clotting.
Lead author Christian Kastrup and his colleagues present their research results in the Oct. 16, 2006, online Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
For additional information, see the University of Chicago press release at: http://www-news.uchicago.edu/releases/06/061016.clotting.shtml.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2016, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $626 million in professional and service contracts yearly.
Useful NSF Web Sites: