The blood coagulation system relies on lipid membrane constituents to act as regulators of the coagulation process upon vascular trauma, and in particular the 2D configuration of the lipid membranes is known to efficiently catalyze enzymatic activity of blood coagulation factors. This work demonstrates a new application of a recently developed methodology to study blood coagulation at lipid membrane interfaces with the use of imaging technology. Lipid membranes with varied net charges were formed on silica supports by systematically using different combinations of lipids where neutral phosphocholine (PC) lipids were mixed with phospholipids having either positively charged ethylphosphocholine (EPC), or negatively charged phosphatidylserine (PS) headgroups. Coagulation imaging demonstrated that negatively charged SiO(2) and membrane surfaces exposing PS (obtained from liposomes containing 30% of PS) had coagulation times which were significantly shorter than those for plain PC membranes and EPC exposing membrane surfaces (obtained from liposomes containing 30% of EPC). Coagulation times decreased non-linearly with increasing negative surface charge for lipid membranes. A threshold value for shorter coagulation times was observed below a PS content of ∼6%. We conclude that the lipid membranes on solid support studied with the imaging setup as presented in this study offers a flexible and non-expensive solution for coagulation studies at biological membranes. It will be interesting to extend the present study towards examining coagulation on more complex lipid-based model systems.
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