UAMS Researchers Advance Blood Clot Understanding, Get $2.5M to Continue Studies

UAMS Researchers Advance Blood Clot Understanding, Get $2.5M to Continue Studies
UAMS researcher Dr. Brian Storrie, sitting, views images of blood platelets that have combined to seal a puncture wound. (UAMS)

A $2.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health will help UAMS researchers continue studying blood clots after the team made a breakthrough discovery, the health system announced Wednesday. 

The team, led by UAMS physiology and cell biology professor Dr. Brian Storrie, discovered that blood clots in puncture wounds form structures similar to skyscrapers. The finding upends the long-held belief that cells fill a puncture wound layer by layer to stop bleeding, known as the core and shell model, UAMS said in a news release.

Researchers took thousands of microscopic photos to determine the structure of the clots.

"This insight should help pave the way for future drugs to prevent life-threatening blood clots while minimizing the risk of bleeding,” said Dr. Susan Smyth, executive vice chancellor of UAMS and dean of the College of Medicine.

Storrie's team includes researchers from the University of Kentucky and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering.

The grant will help them continue their work for the next four years, during which they'll examine molecular-level coagulation factors, analyze the affects of anti-clotting medication and test hypotheses developed in their earlier research.

The National Institutes of Health is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.