Structure of fibrin gels studied by elastic light scattering techniques: dependence of fractal dimension, gel crossover length, fiber diameter, and fiber density on monomer concentration

Fabio Ferri, Maria Greco, Giuseppe Arcävito, Marco De Spirito, Mattia Rocco

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Abstract

The concentration dependence of the structure of fibrin gels, formed following fibrinogen activation by thrombin at a constant molar ratio, was investigated by means of elastic light scattering techniques. The scattered intensity distributions were measured in absolute units over a wave-vector range q of about three decades ( approximately 3x10(2)-3x10(5) cm(-1)). A set of gel-characterizing parameters were recovered by accurately fitting the data with a single function recently developed by us [F. Ferri et al., Phys. Rev. E 63, 031401 (2001)], based on a simple structural model. Accordingly, the gels can be described as random networks of fibers of average diameter d and density rho, entangled together to form densely packed and spatially correlated blobs of mass fractal dimension D(m) and average size (or crossover length) xi. As previously done for d, we show here that the recovered xi is also a good approximation of a weight average, namely, d approximately sqrt[d2(w)] and xi approximately xi(w). By varying the fibrinogen concentration c(F) between 0.034-0.81 mg/ml, gels with 100 or =xi or =10 microm, 100 or =d or =200 nm, 1.2 or =D(m) or =1.4, and constant rho approximately 0.4 mg/ml were obtained. The power-law c(F) dependencies that we found for both xi and d are consistent with the model, provided that the blobs are allowed to partially overlap by a factor eta likewise scaling with c(F) (2 or =eta or =1). Recasting the whole dataset on a single master curve provided further evidence of the similarity between the structures of all the gels, and confirmed the self-consistency of the model.

Original languageEnglish
Article number011913
Pages (from-to)13
Number of pages1
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Volume66
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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