Using ellipsometry, anodized tantalum interference color, and Coomassie blue staining in conjunction with immunologic identification of proteins adsorbed at interfaces, we have previously found that fibrinogen is the main constituent deposited by plasma onto many man- made surfaces. However, the fibrinogen deposited from normal plasma onto glass and similar wettable materials is rapidly modified during contact activation until it can no longer be identified antigenically. In earlier publications, we have called this modification of the fibrinogen layer “conversion,” to indicate a process of unknown nature. Conversion of adsorbed fibrinogen by the plasma was not accompanied by marked change in film thickness, so that we presumed that this fibrinogen was not covered but replaced by other protein. Conversion is now showen to be markedly delayed in plasma lacking high molecular weight kininogen, slightly delayed in plasma lacking factor XII, and normal in plasma that lack factor XI or prekallikrein. We conclude that intact plasma will quickly replace the fibrinogen it has deposited on glass-like surfaces by high molecular weight kininogen and, to a smaller extent, by factor XII. Platelets adhere preferentially to fibrinogen-coated surfaces; human platelets adhere to hydrophobic nonactivating surfaces, since on these, adsorbed firbinogen is not exchanged by the plasma. The adsorbed fibrinogen will be replaced on glass-like surfaces during surface activation of clotting, and platelets failing to find fibrinogen will not adhere.
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