Colloquium: “The Mechanical and Structural Properties of Fibrin Fibers” – Wednesday, October 17, 2018, at 4PM

Professor Martin Guthold, Department of Physics, Wake Forest University
George P. Williams, Jr. Lecture Hall, (Olin 101)
Wednesday, October 17, 2018, at 4:00 PM

There will be a reception with refreshments at 3:30 PM in the lounge. All interested persons are cordially invited to attend.


Blood coagulation leads to the formation of a blood clot. Blood clots are beneficial in hemostasis as they prevent life-threating blood loss in the event of injury. However, blood clots can also be harmful when they block healthy blood flow (thrombosis); they are the underlying cause of such diseases as heart attacks, stroke and venous thromboembolism, with the first two diseases accounting for 25% of deaths worldwide.

Blood clots perform the mechanical task of stemming the flow of blood. To improve our understanding of blood clots it is, therefore, important to understand their structure and mechanical behavior. The main structural and mechanical component of a blood clot is a mesh of microscopic fibrin fibres.

We have developed an AFM/inverted optical microscope-based technique to study the mechanical behavior of single, microscopic fibers, including fibrin fibres. I will present this technique and the results we have obtained on fibrin fiber mechanical properties, and discuss them in the context of blood clotting, clot lysis, and the properties of other microscopic fibers.


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