Morphological and Mechanical Behavior of Fibrin Clots in Healthy, Diabetic, and Sickle Cell Anemia Disease States
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Fibrinogen is an extracellular plasma protein involved in the clotting process of the vascular system. Following the initiation of the coagulation cascade in response to injury to a blood vessel, fibrinogen is converted to its active form of fibrin by the enzyme thrombin. Patients who suffer from diseases such as diabetes mellitus and sickle cell anemia have been shown to have an increased risk of developing thrombotic conditions such as heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes from higher fibrin concentration. In both of diseases, hypercoagulation and hypofibrinolysis of fibrin can induce atherothrombosis or cardiovascular disease. This study focuses on using experimental assays and confocal microscopy to determine the structural and mechanical differences of fibrin clots in these disease states compared to that of healthy patients. The results obtained from this study contribute to the understanding of underlying mechanisms involved in clotting that may lead to future developments to reduce the risk of vascular disease in diabetes and sickle cell anemia.
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