Thrombin as a key player in thrombosis and haemostasis

Applications of thrombin

Within the field of Haemostasis thrombin is generally used for:

  • experimental research purposes
  • clinically applications
  • diagnostics

Research purposes to improve the understanding of its role in various subjects. There are many ways thrombin is clinically used, e.g. during a surgical procedure to affect haemostasis.

Bovine, human as well as recombinant thrombin are used alone, or e.g. in combination with fibrinogen to obtain a so-called fibrin glue.

In this application the thrombin converts the fibrinogen into fibrin monomers that forms an adhesive glue that can be applied at the patient’s tissue when necessary. Thrombin is also used often in diagnostic kits like the FVIII-assay from Siemens.


Thrombin activity

Thrombin concentrations in the literature are typically reported in terms of different units of activity. Several conventions are used in thrombin literature:

1 IOWA unit= 0.83 NIH unit
1 WHO unit = 0.56 NIH unit
1 NIH unit = 0.324 +/- 0.073 µg
1 NIH unit = 1 USP unit

The activity of Thrombin can be chromogenically measured using the chromogenic substrate S-2238.