Polymer and Materials Science
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
Mechanical creep and creep recovery in small shearing deformations have been studied in unligated clots formed with both thrombin and ancrod. In thrombin clots, both A binding sites (which interact with “a” sites to link monomer units within a protofibril) and B sites (which interact with “b” sites to form links between protofibrils) are exposed to enable formation of linkages; in ancrod clots, only the A sites are exposed. Fine clots (with minimal lateral aggregation of protofibrils), coarse clots (with substantial aggregation of fibril bundles), and clots of intermediate coarseness were compared. Fine thrombin clots showed less creep at short times but more creep at long times than coarse or intermediate clots and had more irrecoverable deformation relative to the initial elastic deformation. Ancrod clots had greater irrecoverable deformation than the corresponding thrombin clots, both fine and coarse. The permanent deformation in fine ancrod clots was enormous, corresponding almost to fluid character; the rate of permanent deformation was larger than that in fine thrombin clots by more than two orders of magnitude. For all types of clots, differential measurements of compliance (or its reciprocal, elastic modulus), as well as the applicability of the Boltzmann superposition principle to calculation of creep recovery, showed that the overall density of structure remained constant throughout the mechanical history; i.e., if structural elements were breaking, they were reforming at the same rate in different configurations. The possibility that the weakness of ancrod clots is attributable to partial degradation of α-chains rather than absence of Bb linkages was eliminated by comparisons of clots made with thrombin, ancrod, and ancrod plus thrombin; the last two showed identical partial degradation of α-chains (by gel electrophoresis), but the first and third had essentially identical initial elastic moduli and creep behavior. Two alternative mechanisms for irrecoverable deformation in fine clots are discussed, involving rupture of protofibrils and slippage of twisted segments, respectively.
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