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The Biochemistry of Hemostasis
By lithele   |   Watch
4 2 498 (1 Today)
Published: October 7, 2006
© 2006 - 2019 lithele
As you might guess from the title, this is a painting representing the biochemical pathway of hemostasis, or blood clotting, and the various pathways/factors/cofactors needed to get there. It's a 24"x36" acrylic painting I did for an art contest a biotech company (bioMerieux) held, which I won 2nd place in (and got MOOLA!! Enough to pay for 3 months rent! *_*). It took only about a day to paint, but three weeks to plan. XD; Unfortunately, since the painting is no longer in my possession, this is the best photo I got of it before I shipped it off. Sorry for the tilty angle and the camera glare. ;_; I hope the company doesn't mind I post this here...but I don't think they'd complain!

This is the blurb I wrote to include with the painting (it only make sense to me on a good day!):

"This painting represents the biochemical pathway that leads to blood clotting. The red portion of the bottom right corner represents a wound or bleeding. The two yellowish-white pathways proceedings upwards from the ‘wound’ represent the extrinsic and intrinsic pathways of blood coagulation, the extrinsic pathway being in the foreground because it is the faster and more direct pathway. The white dots coming from the ‘wound’ represent the cytoplasmic phospholipids released when a cell is ruptured.

The white and gray balls represent various factors and cofactors involved with blood clotting. The gray balls represent the inactive forms and the glowing balls represent the active forms, in most cases. Each factor is labeled lightly on the painting with its respective roman numeral, save a few exceptions such as fibrinogen, the text of which I painting lightly next to the corresponding ball. The white dots surrounding some of the factors, such as X, represent the cofactors, or accessory factors, calcium and phospholipids, which act together. The thinner golden lines connecting Factor VII (in the center, yellow area, part of the extrinsic pathway) to other factors represent various inhibitor and activator relationships it has with the other factors, emphasizing the complexity of the pathway.

The green area in the bottom right corner overgrowing the wound is representative of the clot, with the more formed, vine-like area to the right being the hard clot, formed by fibrin’s cross-linking of the proteins of the soft clot, the more formless green area to the left. I chose to represent the blood clot as a leafy green area instead of a fashion more realistic representative of blood clots as they appear in, say, a microscope because people tend to associate healing with green and natural things.

My hope for this painting was to create a piece appreciable on different levels. To someone who has not studied the biochemistry of blood coagulation (a good majority of people) I wanted the painting to be aesthetically pleasing and captivating, to evoke other more universal themes to connect with my intended theme, such as connections to a planetary system. My ultimate hope was to get people interested enough in the painting to want to know more about the pathway, but I recognize that it is a bit of a pipe dream. Also, I wanted the painting to be appealing to someone who actually knows the biochemistry of it, so that they might look at it and recognize that it is abstractly representing the process. This I unfortunately have not been able to test on anyone but myself, and I don’t really count. Hopefully the painting is successful in these goals."
Image size
1000x750px 154.79 KB
Shutter Speed
1/30 second
Focal Length
6 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Jan 1, 2005, 12:00:01 AM
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savagekitten's avatar
i'm a biochem/medical nerd. i can totally love this.
MidnightMoon's avatar
I really like this, and your explanation behind it makes it all the more fascinating.
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