Thursday, 12 March 2009

Blot clots breakthrough by BHF researchers

New Scientist magazine reports some exciting new BHF-funded research this week.

Dr Yotis Senis (who we can reveal skateboards to work - how cool is that?!) has made a discovery about how blood clot formation is triggered.

This could be a vital step towards developing better, safer, medicines to prevent heart attacks and strokes, which happen when a blood clot builds up and blocks blood supply to the heart or brain.

When an artery is diseased, platelets – small cells in the blood, pictured above – can stick to the inside of the blood vessel and clump together to form a clot that blocks blood flow.

In the first video below you can see this clearly occurring in a little blood vessel under a microscope – the platelets have been made fluorescent so we can see them clearly.

As part of his research, Yotis used platelets that had been engineered to lack a protein called CD148. In the next video below you can see that these platelets can’t build up on the vessel wall.

This could mean that if we could develop medicines that block CD148, they might be effective at preventing heart attacks.

Read more about the research and its potential application here

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