Detection of platelet aggregates with a particle counting method using light scattering

Anal Biochem. 1994 May 1;218(2):284-94. doi: 10.1006/abio.1994.1180.


A novel method to detect platelet aggregation by means of the particle counting technique using light scattering has been developed. An optical device designed to focus on a limited area of platelet-rich plasma measured the intensity of light scattered by particles passing through the area, minimizing multiple light scattering. The use of polystyrene spheres of different diameters confirmed that the light scattering intensity increases in proportion to the particle size in a suspension. Platelet activation induced by various agonists resulted in light scattering of higher intensities, which correlated well with the number and size of aggregates as observed under a microscope. These findings confirmed that the intensity of light scattering detected by the new device provides information on the number and size of aggregates in a suspension. The new method was compared with conventional platelet aggregometry using overall light scattering or changes in light transmission (optical density). The new device appeared to be particularly sensitive to small aggregates such as those formed in platelet activation induced by low concentrations of agonists. Furthermore, the new method has an advantage over the conventional aggregometry, in that it allows the aggregate size distribution and the extent of aggregation to be estimated.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Diphosphate / pharmacology
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Blood Platelets / drug effects
  • Blood Platelets / physiology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Collagen / pharmacology
  • Epinephrine / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Light
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Optical Devices
  • Optics and Photonics
  • Particle Size
  • Platelet Aggregation* / drug effects
  • Platelet Count
  • Scattering, Radiation


  • Adenosine Diphosphate
  • Collagen
  • Epinephrine