Category Archives: Uncategorized

NEW PAPERS!

We published some new articles.   Neighborhood watch – Professional journal club: High-molecular-weight kininogen: breaking bad in lethal endotoxemia. Hofman ZLM, De Maat S, Maas C. J Thromb Haemost. 2017 Dec 11. doi: 10.1111/jth.13924. [Epub ahead of print]   With one of my personal contact system “heroes”: The Search for Biomarkers in Hereditary Angioedema. Kaplan AP, Maas C. Front Med (Lausanne). 2017 Nov 22;4:206. doi: 10.3389/fmed.2017.00206. With our esteemed former colleague Claudia: Amplified endogenous plasmin activity resolves acute thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura in mice. Tersteeg C, Joly BS, Gils A, Lijnen…

NEW PAPER! Hofman et al. – Cleaved kininogen as a biomarker for bradykinin release in hereditary angioedema

Zonne Hofman has done it! She published her solution to a diagnostic problem in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Bradykinin is a powerful inflammatory molecule, but nearly impossible to measure in the blood of patients, because it is rapidly degraded. We looked whether we could detect changes in the ‘parent molecule’ kininogen that take place during bradykinin production with home-made nanobodies. In the end, we developed a bio-assay (let’s call it the Kalli-cHK assay) that is able to quantify cHK levels in blood plasma of patients with hereditary…

Research Grant from Trombosestichting Nederland

I recently received some amazing news in the middle of the great funding massacre that nearly killed me only a few days earlier. My project “Nature’s Nanoparticles” was granted funding by Trombosestichting Nederland! I am very thankful! This means that we can investigate the properties of platelet polyphosphate nanoparticles in health and cardiovascular disease. I believe that polyphosphate nanoparticles are the ‘cement’ that keeps the bricks (cells) of a blood clot together (drawn below). If a blood clot is torn apart, this material is exposed to the blood stream, calling in…

New paper! Barendrecht et al. – Live-cell Imaging of Platelet Degranulation and Secretion Under Flow.

We recently made a video with JoVE (Journal of Visualized Experiments). It was really fun! You can find the movie and paper here. It took me quite some time to prepare the ‘movie-script’ (really different than writing a normal publication), but it does count as a real publication on pubmed! Arjan and Silvia organized the ‘show’ on the filming day (impressively organized) and all of us had to say a few words. I was reminded how terrible I am in front of a camera! It was much more comfortable to…

Crystals on the surface of cells

We just published our latest discovery. There’s crystals on the surface of cells! You can find them in this week’s issue of Blood (Link). An image from our paper made it to the cover, there was a very nice commentary written about it (Link) and it was selected as one of the issue highlights. Yeah, these crystalline particles are beautiful by themselves (at least, I think so), but like the double-rainbow guy asks: “What does it all mean?” We think they form some kind of scaffold for molecular interaction. In the…

Bose QC35 Headphones

I treated myself to a pair of these wireless headphones. They’re not cheap. But they turn out to be great – for me. Wired headphones have always been a problem. Wire breaks, jack plugs slipping out during a walk or bike ride. Pfff. These are bluetooth. Easy to connect to devices. I must admit that the electronic voice is a bit disturbing. She tells you the battery level quite well, but the rest sounds like a bad spelling contest. About the battery, it lasts for a long time. I charge…

Global Forum for Hereditary Angioedema, Madrid

About a week ago (13-15 November), I went to Madrid for a presentation at the Global Forum for Hereditary Angioedema. I had my talk on the opening Friday night. This is an excellent moment for a talk, because the audience is still fresh and remembers the information you’re trying to share. Furthermore, I had a joint presentation with Prof. Marco Cicardi, a highly respected researcher and clinician in this field. The presentation was interactive; I could ask ‘pop-quiz’-styled question that could be answered by the audience via tablets that were provided….

A great saturday with an award for dessert

I recently had a very interesting saturday, when I had to give two talks. I started out at Sanquin, Amsterdam in the morning. Dr. Rob Fijnheer and Prof. Jan Voorberg hosted the annual TTP patient day at this institute. A place where patients with this rare and life-threatening disorder can exchange experiences and receive an update on the scientific progress in TTP research. I was invited to speak there on our work. It took some ‘conversion’ to get the message across, but I think we got it done! Actually, I will keep…

Support from the patients: HAEi Grant

Yesterday, I received the great news that HAEi; the international organisation for patients with hereditary angioedema will financially support our research over the next two years with a grant of 100,000 dollars. Only a few years ago, it was brought to my attention that the disease angioedema is strongly linked to excessive activity of the enzyme system that we once hope to fully understand. By studying this disease, we really do seem to obtain a better understanding of these enzymes, but more importantly, our insights into these trouble-making enzymes appears…

Leo Vroman; undercover blood researcher

Last saturday, it was in the news that Leo Vroman had passed away at the respectable age of 98. In the Netherlands, he is/was quite famous for his poetry, for which he received prestigious awards, including the P.C. Hooft award. In early 2008, our department’s previous Professor, Prof.dr. Jan Sixma informed me that my most recent experiments seemed to offer an explanation for the puzzling observations that Leo Vroman had made decades earlier. I did not even know that he ever did experiments!? – Leo Vroman was a poet: my…