04 March 2015
Vol 7, Issue 277

About The Cover

Cover image expansion

ONLINE COVER Cross-linking Clots. After trauma, blood clots form to stop the bleeding; but these clots are often unstable or slow to form. In this issue, Chan and colleagues engineered a bioinspired, polymeric clotting factor, called PolySTAT, with fibrin-binding peptides, that circulates innocuously throughout the body until encountering a forming clot. At that point, PolySTAT (in blue on cover) cross-links the fibrin fibers (in beige), solidifying and strengthening the new clot. The polymer was tested in a rodent model of trauma, where it staunched bleeding better than its natural counterpart, factor XIII, which is used in patients. See the related Focus by Brohi. [CREDIT: W. WALKER/UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON]