EYE OF SCIENCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY EYE OF SCIENCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Blood clot. Coloured Scanning Electron Micrograph (SEM) of a human blood clot. Here it has formed on the wall of a blood vessel (brown) following an injury. Red blood cells (erythrocytes) are seen trapped in a web of yellow fibrin threads. The fibrin is an insoluble protein and these threads are an essential mechanism for the arrest of bleeding. As the blood cells become trapped they lose their normal rounded shape. Blood clots form to repair blood vessels damaged by injury or disease. Abnormal clotting in blood vessels, as occurs in a thrombus in intact arteries and veins, is the principal cause of heart attack and stroke. Magnification: x850 at 6x6cm size.
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