ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Education and Science»
  • Life Sciences

Blood Clotting - Biology - AS Level

Updated on September 3, 2012
Red blood cells - note the concave shape.
Red blood cells - note the concave shape. | Source

What is Blood Clotting?

Blood clotting is a vital process in the human body that prevents blood loss from blood vessels (arteries and veins).

However, when blood clots form inside of blood vessels, there is a chance that they will cause a blockade, restricting or denying blood to particular areas of the body.

This is called thrombosis and the chances of acquiring this disease is greatly increased by atherosclerosis - hard plaques that also block up blood vessels.

Platelet Plug
Platelet Plug | Source

'The Platelet Plug'

Much like in atherosclerosis, blood clotting is a result of damage to the wall of a blood vessel. It also occurs when blood flows too slowly.

Platelets are a type of blood cell. They contain no nucleus. When they make contact with the damaged vessel wall, platelets change their shape. They turn from flattened discs to spherical shapes, with long thin projections stemming out from them.

As well as shape change, the surfaces of the platelets change and become sticky. This causes platelets to stick to other platelets as well as the exposed collagen in the damaged wall. This forms a ‘platelet plug’ that prevents further blood leaking out of the vessel. This is what a ‘scab’ is.

As well as this, the platelets release substances that ‘activate’ even more platelets to change shape and stick to the plug.

Platelet Changes
Platelet Changes | Source
Fibrin Mesh
Fibrin Mesh | Source

'The Fibrin Mesh'

At the same time as the platelet plug is forming, the direct contact of blood with the exposed collagen of the vessel wall results in a cascade of changes (that you don’t need to know about) that leads to the formation of thrombin from prothrombin.

This thrombin is an enzyme that is used to catalyse the conversion of soluble protein: fibrinogen into the insoluble protein: fibrin.

Fibrin is long and insoluble and therefore easily creates a tangled mesh around any nearby blood cells. Because Fibrin is insoluble, it will not simply dissolve back into the blood plasma around it.

The End Result: A Blood Clot

Source

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image
      Author

      DK 5 years ago from London

      Thank you very much! :)

    • Muhammad Hajjo profile image

      Muhammad Hajjo 5 years ago from Dubai, UAE

      Good job, I'm a Pharmacy graduate and we studied this subject intensively, but to see it put out in the style you chose was a new experience.

    • profile image

      Daniel Clark 5 years ago

      Excellent!

      Thanks a lot, you made me pass my AS biology :)

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)