Colloquium: “Changes in Blood Clot Structure and Mechanics in Cardiovascular and Thromboembolic Diseases”
Dr. Stephen R. Baker
Teacher Scholar Postdoctoral Fellow
Department of Physics
Wake Forest University
George P. Williams, Jr. Lecture Hall, (Olin 101)
Wednesday, March 4, 2020 at 3:00 PM
There will be a reception in the Olin Lounge at approximately 4 PM following the colloquium. All interested persons are cordially invited to attend.
Studies in recent years have shown blood clot structure and mechanical properties to be a novel risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. As a result, we need to better understand how the structural and mechanical properties of blood clots from patients with cardiovascular disease are different from those of healthy individuals. To study these properties, we need to determine how they change at different length scales. On the nano- and microscale, an atomic force microscope is an extremely versatile piece of equipment that can be used for nanometer to micrometer scale imaging, normal force unfolding of single molecules, or even novel lateral force techniques. Each of these techniques come with the added versatility of being able to conduct experiments under hydrated or dry conditions. On a larger scale, rheology (or microrheology) is a technique to study the mechanical properties of whole networks. Combined with imaging techniques, such as laser scanning confocal microscopy and scanning electron microscopy (SEM), we can gain a unique insight into the changes that occur between healthy patients and those with cardiovascular diseases. In this talk, I will explain the techniques we have used over the past three and a half years to study changes in fibrinogen and plasma clot properties from various cardiovascular and thromboembolic diseases, including venous thromboembolism, acute pulmonary embolism, acute myocardial infarction, and type-2 diabetes. In addition, I will explain how we hope to use these ongoing results to better understand changes in clot structure and mechanics from patients with cancer associated thrombosis.