University of Utah
Thrombosis, which is the formation of blood clots within vessels of the circulatory system, is the proximal cause of most heart attacks and of other severe cardiovascular problems such as ischemia and angina. The two main components of the thrombotic process are platelet aggregation and coagulation. Platelet aggregation involves processes of cell-cell and cell-substrate adhesion and cell signalling and response all within the moving blood. Coagulation involves a network of enzyme reactions with numerous feedforward and feedback loops, presumably for the dual purposes of control and amplification of the initial stimulus. Another important feature of the coagulation system is that many of the important reactions occur on surfaces, not in the bulk fluid of the blood, while transport of the participating enzymes and their substrates occurs by advection and diffusion in the fluid. In this talk we will describe our long-term efforts to model platelet aggregation with emphasis on new developments, we will discuss our recent work to model important aspects of coagulation, and we will outline our plans for how to combine these two efforts into a more comprehensive model of thrombosis.