Why clots rupture

Fibrin fibres which make up the matrix of a blood clot can stretch to three times their length without losing elasticity and six times their length before breaking, US scientists have found.

Whole clots can only stretch to one or two times their length, however, suggesting that when blood clots rupture it is because individual junctions between fibres have broken (Science Online 2006). Pictured is a scanning electron microscopy image of a blood clot.

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