Using laser fluctuation spectroscopy, a technique that measures particle size change in solution, the kinetics of fibrin clot formation from fibrinogen can be studied. With this technique the effect of calcium on the three distinguishable phases of clot formation, (1) proteolysis of fibrinogen, (2) fibrinogen-fibrin monomer complex formation, and (3) fibrin monomer polymerization, were investigated. Only a small change in the length of the induction period that results from the fibrinogen-fibrin monomer interactions was observed. However, there was a marked increase in the rate of fibrin monomer polymerization in the presence of calcium ions. These data show that calcium decreases the time required for fibrin formation from fibrinogen by markedly accelerating the phase of fibrin monomer polymerization.

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