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IUPAC definition
Property of a material (or substance) that induces and/or promotes
the formation of a thrombus. [1]

Thrombogenicity refers to the tendency of a material in contact with the blood to produce a thrombus, or clot. It not only refers to fixed thrombi but also to emboli, thrombi which have become detached and travel through the bloodstream. Thrombogenicity can also encompass events such as the activation of immune pathways and the complement system. All materials are considered to be thrombogenic[ citation needed ] with the exception of the normal state of endothelial cells which line blood vessels. [2] Certain medical implants appear non-thrombogenic due to high flow rates of blood past the implant, but in reality all are thrombogenic to a degree. Various surface treatments are available to minimize these thrombogenic effects.

Thrombus blood clot

A thrombus, colloquially called a blood clot, is the final product of the blood coagulation step in hemostasis. There are two components to a thrombus: aggregated platelets and red blood cells that form a plug, and a mesh of cross-linked fibrin protein. The substance making up a thrombus is sometimes called cruor. A thrombus is a healthy response to injury intended to prevent bleeding, but can be harmful in thrombosis, when clots obstruct blood flow through healthy blood vessels.

Complement system part of the immune system that enhances (complements) the ability of antibodies and phagocytic cells to clear microbes and damaged cells from an organism, promotes inflammation, and attacks the pathogens cell membrane

The complement system is a part of the immune system that enhances (complements) the ability of antibodies and phagocytic cells to clear microbes and damaged cells from an organism, promotes inflammation, and attacks the pathogen's cell membrane. It is part of the innate immune system, which is not adaptable and does not change over the course of an individual's lifetime. The complement system can, however, be recruited and brought into action by antibodies generated by the adaptive immune system.


A thrombogenic implant will eventually be covered by a fibrous capsule, the thickness of this capsule can be considered one measure of thrombogenicity, and if extreme can lead to the failure of the implant.

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Angiogenesis blood vessel formation when new vessels emerge from existing vessels

Angiogenesis is the physiological process through which new blood vessels form from pre-existing vessels, formed in the earlier stage of vasculogenesis. Angiogenesis continues the growth of the vasculature by processes of sprouting and splitting. Vasculogenesis is the embryonic formation of endothelial cells from mesoderm cell precursors, and from neovascularization, although discussions are not always precise. The first vessels in the developing embryo form through vasculogenesis, after which angiogenesis is responsible for most, if not all, blood vessel growth during development and in disease.

Thrombosis vascular disease caused by the formation of a blood clot inside a blood vessel, obstructing the flow of blood through the circulatory system

Thrombosis is the formation of a blood clot inside a blood vessel, obstructing the flow of blood through the circulatory system. When a blood vessel is injured, the body uses platelets (thrombocytes) and fibrin to form a blood clot to prevent blood loss. Even when a blood vessel is not injured, blood clots may form in the body under certain conditions. A clot, or a piece of the clot, that breaks free and begins to travel around the body is known as an embolus.

Platelet component of blood

Platelets, also called thrombocytes, are a component of blood whose function is to react to bleeding from blood vessel injury by clumping, thereby initiating a blood clot. Platelets have no cell nucleus: they are fragments of cytoplasm that are derived from the megakaryocytes of the bone marrow, and then enter the circulation. Circulating unactivated platelets are biconvex discoid (lens-shaped) structures, 2–3 µm in greatest diameter. Platelets are found only in mammals, whereas in other animals thrombocytes circulate as intact mononuclear cells.

An artificial organ is an engineered device or tissue that is implanted or integrated into a human — interfacing with living tissue — to replace a natural organ, to duplicate or augment a specific function or functions so the patient may return to a normal life as soon as possible. The replaced function does not have to be related to life support, but it often is. For example, replacement bones and joints, such as those found in hip replacements, could also be considered artificial organs.

Venous thrombosis blood clot (thrombus) that forms within a vein

A venous thrombus is a blood clot (thrombus) that forms within a vein. Thrombosis is a term for a blood clot occurring inside a blood vessel. A common type of venous thrombosis is a deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which is a blood clot in the deep veins of the leg. If the thrombus breaks off (embolizes) and flows towards the lungs, it can become a pulmonary embolism (PE), a blood clot in the lungs.

Disseminated intravascular coagulation pathological process characterized by the widespread activation of the clotting cascade that results in the formation of blood clots in the small blood vessels throughout the body

Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) is a condition in which blood clots form throughout the body, blocking small blood vessels. Symptoms may include chest pain, shortness of breath, leg pain, problems speaking, or problems moving parts of the body. As clotting factors and platelets are used up, bleeding may occur. This may include blood in the urine, blood in the stool, or bleeding into the skin. Complications may include organ failure.

Endothelium Inner lining of blood vessels

Endothelium refers to cells that line the interior surface of blood vessels and lymphatic vessels, forming an interface between circulating blood or lymph in the lumen and the rest of the vessel wall. It is a thin layer of simple, or single-layered, squamous cells called endothelial cells. Endothelial cells in direct contact with blood are called vascular endothelial cells, whereas those in direct contact with lymph are known as lymphatic endothelial cells.

Hemolytic-uremic syndrome Human disease

Hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS) is a group of blood disorders characterized by low red blood cells, acute kidney failure, and low platelets. Initial symptoms typically include bloody diarrhea, fever, vomiting, and weakness. Kidney problems and low platelets then occur as the diarrhea is improving. While children are more commonly affected adults may have worse outcomes. Complications may include neurological problems and heart failure.

Infarction tissue death caused by a local lack of oxygen, due to an obstruction of the tissues blood supply

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Implant (medicine) medical device manufactured to replace a missing biological structure, support a damaged biological structure, or enhance an existing biological structure

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An artificial heart valve is a device implanted in the heart of a patient with valvular heart disease. When one of the four heart valves malfunctions, the medical choice may be to replace the natural valve with an artificial valve. This requires open-heart surgery. Heart valves are integral to the normal physiological functioning of the human heart. Natural heart valves induce unidirectional blood flow through the valve structure from one chamber of the heart to another. Natural heart valves become dysfunctional for a variety of pathological causes, some of which may require complete surgical replacement of the natural heart valve with an artificial valve.


The selectins are a family of cell adhesion molecules. All selectins are single-chain transmembrane glycoproteins that share similar properties to C-type lectins due to a related amino terminus and calcium-dependent binding. Selectins bind to sugar moieties and so are considered to be a type of lectin, cell adhesion proteins that bind sugar polymers.

E-selectin protein-coding gene in the species Homo sapiens

E-selectin, also known as CD62 antigen-like family member E (CD62E), endothelial-leukocyte adhesion molecule 1 (ELAM-1), or leukocyte-endothelial cell adhesion molecule 2 (LECAM2), is a selectin cell adhesion molecule expressed only on endothelial cells activated by cytokines. Like other selectins, it plays an important part in inflammation. In humans, E-selectin is encoded by the SELE gene.

Phosphorylcholine is the hydrophilic polar head group of some phospholipids, which is composed of a negatively charged phosphate bonded to a small, positively charged choline group. Phosphorylcholine is part of platelet-activating factor; the phospholipid phosphatidylcholine as well as sphingomyelin, the only phospholipid of the membrane that is not built with a glycerol backbone. Treatment of cell membranes, like those of RBCs, by certain enzymes, like some phospholipase A2 renders the phosphorylcholine moiety exposed to the external aqueous phase, and thus accessible for recognition by the immune system. Antibodies against phosphorylcholine are naturally occurring autoantibodies that are created by CD5+/B-1 B cells and are referred to as non-pathogenic autoantibodies.


A biomaterial is any substance that has been engineered to interact with biological systems for a medical purpose - either a therapeutic or a diagnostic one. As a science, biomaterials is about fifty years old. The study of biomaterials is called biomaterials science or biomaterials engineering. It has experienced steady and strong growth over its history, with many companies investing large amounts of money into the development of new products. Biomaterials science encompasses elements of medicine, biology, chemistry, tissue engineering and materials science.

Vascular endothelial growth factor A protein-coding gene in the species Homo sapiens

Vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) is a protein that in humans is encoded by the VEGFA gene.

Surface modification of biomaterials with proteins

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Left ventricular thrombus

Left ventricular thrombus is a blood clot (thrombus) in the left ventricle of the heart. LVT is a common complication of acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Typically the clot is a mural thrombus, meaning it is on the wall of the ventricle. The primary risk of LVT is the occurrence of cardiac embolism, in which the thrombus detaches from the ventricular wall and travels through the circulation and blocks blood vessels. Blockage can be especially damaging in the heart or brain (stroke).

Biomaterials exhibit various degrees of compatibility with the harsh environment within a living organism. They need to be nonreactive chemically and physically with the body, as well as integrate when deposited into tissue. The extent of compatibility varies based on the application and material required. Often modifications to the surface of a biomaterial system are required to maximize performance. The surface can be modified in many ways, including plasma modification and applying coatings to the substrate. Surface modifications can be used to affect surface energy, adhesion, biocompatibility, chemical inertness, lubricity, sterility, asepsis, thrombogenicity, susceptibility to corrosion, degradation, and hydrophilicity.


  1. "Terminology for biorelated polymers and applications (IUPAC Recommendations 2012)" (PDF). Pure and Applied Chemistry . 84 (2): 377–410. 2012. doi:10.1351/PAC-REC-10-12-04.
  2. López JA, Chen J (2009). "Pathophysiology of venous thrombosis". Thromb Res. 123 (Suppl 4): S30–4. doi:10.1016/S0049-3848(09)70140-9. PMID   19303501.

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