Quantitative ristocetin-induced platelet aggregation of normal platelet- rich plasma (PRP) decreased with time after PRP preparation. An increase in p H of the PRP with time proved to be responsible for this finding. Diffusion of CO2from the plasma is the prime determinant of the change in pH. Since a complex combination of factors influences CO2 diffusion (surface area-to-volume relationship, capping, mixing, etc.) The change in pH is variable with time. Thus, quantitative ristocetin aggregation should be pH controlled. A simple device for maintaining PRP pH constant by control of the ambient pCO2 was designed and found effective in keeping both pH and quantitative ristocetin aggregation constant over a prolonged period of time. It can be adapted for use in platelet aggregation studies employing other reagents. The pH dependence of ristocetin-induced platelet aggregation is consistent with other data supporting an elctrostatic interaction between the platelet, von Willebrand factor, and ristocetin. We favor a model wherein ristocetin neutralizes some of the platelet's negative change and permits the von Willebrand factor to bridge sites on separate platelets to induce agglutination.

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