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A Mathematician's Look at Blood Clotting: Platelets, Coagulation, and Flow

Special Events

Speaker: Dr. Aaron Fogelson, University of Utah
Location: 1147 MSB
Start time: Fri, May 11 2012, 5:15PM

The formation of a blood clot inside of a blood vessel, a process known as thrombosis, involves the intertwined processes of platelet deposition and coagulation, and leads to formation of thrombi made up, to varying degrees, of aggregated platelets, fibrin polymer mesh, and trapped red and white blood cells. Thrombosis can be initiated by overt physical damage to the endothelial cell lining of a blood vessel, and can occur also in settings, including in the deep veins of the legs and in prosthetic devices, where the initiating events are unknown or poorly characterized. Intense clinical and laboratory research has identified and characterized many of the pieces of the thrombotic process, but the function of the process as a whole remains poorly understood. Thrombosis involves complex biochemical, biophysical, and biomechanical interactions that are also dynamic and spatially-distributed, and occur on multiple spatial and temporal scales. Computational modeling, done in conjunction with laboratory experimentation, offers a unique means to explore thrombosis as an integrated process, and opens up the future possibility of developing predictive tools that can be used to assess and improve the design of medical devices and therapies, and to guide the treatment of patients. In this talk I will describe some of my group's efforts to use computational modeling to understand thrombosis.