Penn researchers reveal 1st microscopic video of blood clot contraction

The first microscopic video of a blood clot contraction is already changing the way scientists think about conditions like ischemic stroke, deep vein thrombosis and heart attacks, according to a Penn Medicine news story.

Researchers at Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania captured the clot contraction with an imaging technique known as confocal light microscopy. Because clotting is such an important element of the circulatory system, this insight could change the way doctors diagnose and treat cardiovascular disease.

“Under normal circumstances, blood clot contraction plays an important role in preventing bleeding by making a better seal, since the cells become tightly packed as the spaces between them are eliminated,” lead researcher John A. Weisel, PhD, said of the process. “In this study, we unwrapped and quantified clot contraction in single platelets.”

Weisel said in the story he thinks an increased understanding of blood clot contraction will allow deeper future study into bleeding prevention and thrombosis.

Read the full report here: