Coagulation in the Blood Vessels and Arteries

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Coagulation in the Blood Vessels and Arteries

Postby lupeee_1995 » Mon Oct 07, 2013 3:13 pm

I am trying to design an experiment that has to do with blockage or coagulation in blood vessels and arteries, but so far I have no idea what to ask for my experiment. So far I have research the types of hemophilia type A & B, as well as Atherosclerosis. They have helped, but not as much as I wished. I would really appreciate it, if you could give me some ideas and help me with my research. Thank you, I appreciate it very much.
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Re: Coagulation in the Blood Vessels and Arteries

Postby megidi » Mon Oct 07, 2013 3:48 pm

The two disorders you looked up, while dealing with clotting, are almost polar opposites. Hemophilia as you discovered is the lack or inhibition of a clotting factor, while atherosclerosis is primarily a narrowing of the coronary arteries by lesions that then rupture and encourage clots. As a data gathering expedition both are good research, it is important to fully understand all the conditions related to your topic. But as far as a project goes there are two very different routes you can take.

If you choose to pursue the hemophilia angle you can examine what these clotting factors do, and then look at ways different therapies work. Factor VIII replacement for instance. Social and scientific issues related to this may be the emergence of HIV in the 1980's, and the way in which it affected the hemophiliac population much more than the healthy population. Blood supply safety would be another interesting way to look at this.

On the other hand Heart Disease is one of the biggest killers in the United States. Investigating this has massive implications in science and public health. One interesting point may be to collect data from drug manufactures and determine if the medications that are used to prevent or treat heart disease work as if they intended. For instance statin drugs which are prescribed to lower cholesterol has been shown to not really lower blood cholesterol levels all that much. But at the same time there has been a decrease in heart attacks in the patient population being treated with statins. So if it doesn't lower cholesterol, which is what was thought to be the major heart disease risk factor, what does it do that lowers the risk of heart disease?
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Re: Coagulation in the Blood Vessels and Arteries

Postby lupeee_1995 » Wed Oct 09, 2013 9:29 am

I was researching more about coagulation. I found out what fibrin and fibrinogen, which is factor I, in the process of coagulation. I want to find out how we can change fibrin, in order to stop the clot, and let the blood flow through. Is there a way I can do that, without taking the whole fibrin out and replacing it.
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Re: Coagulation in the Blood Vessels and Arteries

Postby JMP » Wed Oct 09, 2013 4:02 pm

This is a very interesting and sophisticated idea, and one I happen to know a lot about, but I don't think you'll be able to test it with the resources available to you in high school or lab or with the time you have. Just for your information, in my old lab we were very interested in. During you research you probably learned that thrombin (also called factor II) cleaves fibrinogen (soluble) to turn it into fibrin (insoluble, and one of the primary factors in a clot). In my lab we engineered a form of fibrinogen that could not be cleaved by thrombin and we made mice that express this mutant form of fibrinogen. As expected, the blood from these mice did not clot normally and acted similarly as blood from mice without any fibrinogen. The idea of modifying fibrinogen to let blood flow freely, presumably as a treatment for blood clots and heart disease, is one that has been considered in the medical field. The problem of course is balancing breaking up a clot with leading to too much bleeding. People with harmful clots are often administered "clot busting" drugs to do just this, but the doses and location of administration have to be carefully monitored so as not to lead to too much bleeding. Again, I'm not sure how you'd be able to study this in your high school lab, but I definitely think it's great that you're thinking along these lines. This is exactly how scientists think.

You seem to be really interested in blood coagulation (which I think is great, since so am I), so I recommend you look through the project ideas here to see if one interests you, at least as a starting point. One science fair project idea on this website explores how anticoagulants work. (http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f ... ml#summary). Perhaps you could use this as a starting point and modify it to fit your interests.

Please post again with more ideas and any further questions.
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Re: Coagulation in the Blood Vessels and Arteries

Postby lupeee_1995 » Sun Oct 13, 2013 3:10 pm

Could you please explain to me in more broad and specific terms what coagulation blood is? I would really appreciate it.
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Re: Coagulation in the Blood Vessels and Arteries

Postby JMP » Sun Oct 13, 2013 5:08 pm

Hi Lupee,

In the simplest terms, coagulation is the blood clotting. This is an absolutely necessary process that occurs after you get a cut, for example. Without coagulation (clotting) you would just continue to bleed out of even the most minor cuts and you wouldn't be able to recover from even minor injuries. As with many things in the body though, blood coagulation needs to be tightly regulated, because while you would die from blood loss without a clot, clots in the wrong place also pose a danger. If you get a blood clot in your vessels that does not go away, it can lead to heart attack, stroke, and other life-threatening problems. The way our bodies control coagulation to prevent both blood loss and blockages in the arteries and vessels is through a cascade. Injuries to your blood vessels (for example a cut) start the cascade that eventually leads to the formation of a clot. As you read previously, this involves the conversion of fibrinogen into fibrin, as well as several other factors. Almost immediately after initiation of the clotting cascade occurs, another cascade is also activated which will dissolve the clot (plasminogen is converted into plasmin, which basically chops up fibrin to dissolve the clot).

I hope this helps give you a broader understanding of coagulation. If you have any more specific questions about coagulation, feel free to post them.
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Re: Coagulation in the Blood Vessels and Arteries

Postby lupeee_1995 » Sun Oct 13, 2013 7:57 pm

Is it possible to extract enzymes alive, such as plasmin which is used to break down fibrin?
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Re: Coagulation in the Blood Vessels and Arteries

Postby JMP » Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:49 am

It is possible to purify plasmin, although it is generally not easy. Luckily, other people do the purification for us and we can buy it from them.

For example:
http://www.haemtech.com/Enzymes/Plasmin.htm
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Re: Coagulation in the Blood Vessels and Arteries

Postby lupeee_1995 » Thu Oct 17, 2013 9:38 pm

What's the difference between the coagulation cascade and the plasmin cascade? I knew about the coagulation cascade, but never heard about the plasmin cascade. I would really be interested in knowing more about it. Thank you.
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Re: Coagulation in the Blood Vessels and Arteries

Postby lupeee_1995 » Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:22 am

Dear JMP,

I appreciate the help you have provided my partner and I. Through the previous responses we have acquired a lot of knowledge, as well as some information regarding your research about blood clots. We would like to learn more about your results concerning plasmin and fibrin. Would you be willing to help us with our experiment and all the questions and difficulties concerning our experiment. Your help would really be appreciated.

Sincerely,
Guadalupe López
Lidia Monterroso
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Re: Coagulation in the Blood Vessels and Arteries

Postby JMP » Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:15 am

Hi Lupee,

I'm certainly happy to help give advice on whatever experiments you decide to perform. Do you have a specific science fair experiment in mind? I'm not sure what information you want on plasmin and fibrin. You ask about the coagulation cascade v. the plasmin cascade. I would generally consider what you are calling the plasmin cascade as the fibrinolytic cascade (i.e. lysis of fibrin) and together, coagulation and fibrinolysis make up the hemostatic cascade. The Wikipedia page on fibrinolysis seems to be fairly informative, so you might try looking there to get some more general information. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fibrinolysis

A google image search for hemostatic cascade or fibrinolysis/fibrinolytic cascade will also give you some diagrams of the overall cascade that may be useful to you.

I hope this information is helpful to you, and again, if you can give us a better idea of what your planning experiment is, we can better help with more detailed answers and concrete ideas.

Thanks,
JMP
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Re: Coagulation in the Blood Vessels and Arteries

Postby lupeee_1995 » Thu Oct 24, 2013 9:31 am

Dear JMP,

After ordering the two proteins plasmin and fibrin, we plan to put/use one half of a milligram of both proteins and run them through the gel, perform SDS PAGE on them, molecular weight marker will be used. This will be our control. The gel will be ran for as long as needed. May or may not have any dye to measure how long it has traveled. After we turn off the apparatus we will take a picture of the gel in order to keep it on file.
For the most challenging part of our experiment we plan on using one half of a milligram of fibrin and half a milligram of plasmin. This time it will be mixed up and we will have them both together on the same test tube. We will let them rest for a certain time.
There will be intervals, a 7 minute interval, a 30 minute interval, and a hour interval on how long plasmin and fibrin will be together in the test tube. In order to save money on the gels we will only use one. We will start with the 7 minute interval, after the 30 minutes, we will take a small amount from the same test tube and inject that amount into the previous gel. (The previous substances and positions of the other, 7 minute interval, will be altered, but since they are recorded it will not change the data.) After using the Gel Doc™ EZ System, and 1 hour interval has passed, the same will be done. The results will be recorded on a chart, and probably graphed. The results will definitely be analyzed.

After designing our experiment we came across a barrier. We need a qualified scientist because the possibilities are that we will be working with potentially hazardous biological agents and DEA-controlled substances, and we need one because they are necessary for the Intel-affiliated Contra Costa County Science & Engineering Fair (CCCSEF) applications. Would you be willing to be our mentor for this experiment?

We would really appreciate the help and time you would take to aid us.

Thank You,
Guadalupe López
Lidia Monterroso
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Re: Coagulation in the Blood Vessels and Arteries

Postby JMP » Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:26 am

I'm sorry, but we are not allowed to interact with students outside of the boards, so I cannot be your mentor on this project. You should look for a mentor near you. Check out our project guide on "How to Find a Mentor" posted here: http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f ... tors.shtml

Good luck on your project, and if you have any more questions I can answer, I would be happy to help in that way.
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Re: Coagulation in the Blood Vessels and Arteries

Postby lupeee_1995 » Thu Oct 24, 2013 12:58 pm

Hi JMP,

Thank you for letting us know and if we have questions we'll gladly ask you. What do you think about our experiment?

Thank You,
Guadalupe López
Lidia Monterroso
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Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2013 7:44 pm
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Re: Coagulation in the Blood Vessels and Arteries

Postby JMP » Thu Oct 24, 2013 1:19 pm

I have a few technical questions about your experiment, but my biggest question is what is your hypothesis? The way you have stated things right now, you have told me what you are going to do, but not why. What are you testing (what is the question you are trying to solve) and what do you expect (your hypothesis)? Remember, when doing a science project you should be able to clearly identify a hypothesis, your variable, controls, etc. Once you have provided these things, it will be much easier to determine whether your experiment will test your hypothesis.

That said, it sounds like you are very interested in blood clotting and fibrinolysis, and I think it's great that you are putting so much time, effort, and thought into this. Keep up the great work!
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