The unravelling of von Willebrand factor is critical in clot formation during vascular injury. However, without injury, it can lead to certain pathologies. Here, a computational model of the globular-to-unravelled transition rate of von Willebrand factor subjected to different blood flow conditions was used to evaluate the role of blood flow in the trigger of disrupted unravelling in healthy conditions. The results identified the elongational flow of strain rate which, after periodic exposure of von Willebrand factor, could induce undesired unravelling. Overall, the researchers propose a simulation workflow to analyze the impact of blood flow in different biological processes and elucidate key mechanisms that could drive pathological behaviour.
Predicting pathological von Willebrand factor unraveling in elongational flow
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