We have developed a new tool to measure the contractility of single platelets. This tool consists of an array of nano-scale polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) posts. Von Willebrand factor (VWF) and a recombinant protein encompassing the GPIb-IX-V binding region of VWF (A1 domain) were used to study the role of GPIb-VWF interactions in platelet contractility. Platelets were treated with AK2 and 7E3 antibodies to block platelet adhesion through receptors GPIb and α IIbβ 3, respectively. Platelets treated with these antibodies showed reduced spread area and forces in comparison to untreated platelets on VWF. Furthermore, platelets were able to generate contractile forces on substrates coated with A1 domain of VWF. These results suggest that platelet contractile forces can be transmitted through a non-integrin receptor, such as GPIb.

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