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Penn bioengineers create simulator to test blood platelets in virtual heart attacks
Date:6/20/2010

team developed its experimental/computational technique, called Pairwise Agonist Scanning, or PAS, to define platelet response to combinations of agonists, chemicals that bind in this case to platelet cells, initiating a cellular response. Future research would include the application of PAS to clinical stimuli that platelets encounter such as epinephrine, serotonin and nitric oxide, which would map a major portion of the entire platelet response. The use of PAS with certain pharmacological agents would allow further assessment of individual clinical risk, or sensitivity to therapy.

Platelet cells respond in a patient-specific manner to multiple signals, and their reaction to thrombotic signals is central to the 1.74 million heart attacks and strokes, 1.115 million angiograms and 0.652 million stent placements in the United States each year. For Diamond, platelets are also ideal cellular systems for quantifying the effects of multiple signaling pathways because they are anucleate, easily obtained from donors and amenable to automated liquid handling. Few experimental or computational tools are available for building a global understanding of how the platelet integrates multiple stimuli present at varying levels.

Researchers working in systems biology seek to understand blood as a reactive biological fluid whose function changes through a variety of physical and chemical stimuli such as hemodynamics, vessel-wall characteristics, platelet metabolism, numerous coagulation factors in plasma and small molecules released during thrombosis.

Because platelet cells respond to numerous signals and chemical doses and integrate their responses to these stimuli, efficient and speedy computational methods are needed to survey such high-dimensional systems. Evaluating the cellular response to merely pairs of stimuli offers a direct and rapid sampling of the cellular response, which can be built up to predict even more complex situations and may event
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Contact: Jordan Reese
jreese@upenn.edu
215-573-6604
University of Pennsylvania
Source:Eurekalert

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