Accurate Monitoring of Thrombin Activity

Accurate Monitoring of Thrombin Activity

Author: Scott Williams

Thrombin plays a key role in various pathologies of the circulatory system. Too much thrombin can result in thrombosis, whereas too little can lead to hemophilia. Monitoring thrombin activity is therefore important for determining the proper treatment for a given patient, as an accurate assessment of thrombin concentration can be used to estimate the blood’s ability to coagulate.

A tool for monitoring thrombin activity is the thrombin generation test (TGT). In a collaborative project headed by Floris Rutjes, Radboud Univeristy Nijmegen, Netherlands, and Coenraad Hemker, Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht, Netherlands, thrombin-specific fluorogenic peptides were developed for accurate thrombin concentration measurements using the TGT. A thrombin-specific fluorogenic substrate added to a clotting plasma sample results in thrombin-mediated substrate hydrolysis, releasing the fluorophore.

The use of such a fluorophore increases the sensitivity and accuracy of the TGT; this facilitates the creation of a thrombin generation curve, providing essential information on coagulation parameters.

Image: © Wiley-VCH

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