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Thromb Res. 2010 Apr;125 Suppl 1:S29-30. doi: 10.1016/j.thromres.2010.01.029. Epub 2010 Feb 11.

Tissue factor activity under flow.

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Institute for Medicine and Engineering, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


Coagulation processes under flow conditions are fundamentally different when compared to whole blood clotting in a tube. Due to red blood cell migration toward the center of the vessel, platelet concentrations are elevated several-fold in the plasma layer near the wall or thrombus. Evaluation of platelet function, coagulation proteases, and pharmacological agents can utilize closed systems of constant volume that lack flow (eg. intracellular calcium measurement, automated calibrated thrombography) or include flow (eg. aggregometry or cone-and-plate viscometry). However, these laboratory approaches fail to recreate the fact that intravascular thrombosis is an open system where blood is continually flowing over a thrombotic site. In open systems, the rapid accumulation of platelets at a surface leads to platelet concentrations greatly exceeding those found in whole blood and the delivery/removal of species by convection may impact the efficacy of pharmacological agents. During a clotting event under flow, platelets can accumulate via adhesion receptors to concentrations that are 10 to 50-fold higher than that of platelet-rich plasma. Using controlled in vitro perfusions of whole blood, it is possible to determine the critical level of surface tissue factor needed to trigger full scale coagulation on collagen. Such in vitro perfusion systems also allow a determination of the potency of anti-platelet agents as a function of wall shear rate.

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