Platelet biomechanics sheds light on coronary disease

The answer to a 20-year-old physiology question may offer clues for the treatment and prevention of thrombosis and its related conditions, as well as heart attacks.

Renhao Li, PhD, is a member of a research team that discovered how tiny, clot-producing blood cells called platelets respond to shear stress, the force exerted by blood on blood cells when it moves rapidly through a vessel or artery. Li is professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Hematology and Oncology, at Emory University School of Medicine, and Aflac Cancer & Blood Disorders Center of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. He is also a faculty member in the BCDB and MSP programs.

The research was reported in Nature Communications, in a paper titled "Platelet clearance via shear-induced unfolding of a membrane mechanoreceptor."

Click here to view the full story in the Emory News Center. The story was also featured in Science Daily.