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'Shapeshifter' that regulates blood clotting is visually captured for the first time

20:00 EDT 22 Aug 2017 | AAAS

(Boston Children's Hospital) It has not been possible to witness exactly how von Willebrand factor senses and harnesses mechanical forces in our blood vessels -- until now. A team in the Boston Children's Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine and the HMS Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology has revealed exactly how VWF stops bleeding from cuts and bruises. Cutting-edge fluorescence imaging and microfluidic tools allowed them to capture images of individual VWF molecules elongating and relaxing in response to blood flow.

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