THROMBOSIS

There are different types of blood clots.  A blood clot in the vein (usually leg or pelvis) is known as Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and a clot that travels to the lungs is known as a Pulmonary Embolism (PE).  Together, these are known as Venous ThromboEmbolisms (VTE).  

The body uses platelets (thrombocytes) and fibrin to form a blood clot.  This usually occurs when there is an injury to a blood vessel and the formation of a blood clot is the body's way of preventing blood loss.  However, even when there is no injury to a blood vessel, blood clots may form and this is the basis of a huge area of research - understanding why and how it may be controlled.  

Platelet adhesion, aggregation and thrombi formation is an area of research which must be conducted under shear flow conditions.  

Platelet adhesion, aggregation, thrombi formation

The importance of shear stress when studying thrombosis

It is important to study platelet adhesion, aggregation and thrombi formation under shear flow conditions because increased shear conditions have been shown to activate platelets, alter the cellular localization of proteins such as tissue factor (TF) and TF pathway inhibitor, and regulate gene production, [1]:

"Thrombosis occurs in a dynamic rheological field where flow conditions regulate the transport of coagulation factors, inhibitors, and cells. Hemodynamic forces regulate not only the predilection of specific anatomic sites to thrombosis but strongly influence the biochemical makeup of thrombi and the reaction pathways involved in thrombus formation."

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