Blood plays various vital roles within the body and it is not surprising that a number of processes have evolved capable of effectively maintaining haemostasis (the rapid arrest of blood loss upon vascular damage, in order to maintain a relatively constant blood volume). In humans, three main mechanisms underline the haemostatic process:

• The congregation and clumping of blood platelets at the site of vascular injury, thus effectively plugging the site of blood leakage.

• Localized constriction of the blood vessel, which minimizes further blood flow through the area.

• Induction of the blood coagulation cascade. This culminates in the conversion of a soluble serum protein, fibrinogen, into insoluble fibrin. Fibrin monomers then aggregate at the site of

Pharmaceutical biotechnology: concepts and applications Gary Walsh © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd ISBN 978 0 470 01244 4 (HB) 978 0 470 01245 1 (PB)

damage, thus forming a clot (thrombus) to seal it off. These mechanisms are effective in dealing with small vessel injuries (e.g. capillaries and arterioles), although they are ineffective when the damage relates to large veins/arteries.

Diabetes 2

Diabetes 2

Diabetes is a disease that affects the way your body uses food. Normally, your body converts sugars, starches and other foods into a form of sugar called glucose. Your body uses glucose for fuel. The cells receive the glucose through the bloodstream. They then use insulin a hormone made by the pancreas to absorb the glucose, convert it into energy, and either use it or store it for later use. Learn more...

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