Platelet shape change and spreading

Joseph E. Aslan, Asako Itakura, Jacqueline M. Gertz, Owen J.T. McCarty

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

64 Scopus citations


Hemostasis is dependent upon the successful recruitment and activation of blood platelets to the site of a breach in the vasculature. Platelet activation stimulates the rapid reorganization of the cortical actin cytoskeleton, resulting in the transformation of platelets from biconcave disks to fully spread cells. During this process, platelets extend filopodia and generate lamellipodia, resulting in a dramatic increase in the platelet surface area. Kohler-illuminated Nomarski Differential Interference Contrast microscopy has proved an effective tool to characterize platelet morphological changes in real time, and provides a useful tool to identify genetic and pharmacological regulators of platelet function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPlatelets and Megakaryocytes
Subtitle of host publicationVolume 3, Additional Protocols and Perspectives
EditorsJonathan Gibbins, Martyn Mahaut-Smith
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2012

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1064-3745


  • Filopodia
  • Kohler-illuminated Nomarski DIC microscopy
  • Lamellipodia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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