Platelets are small cells that come from some of the largest, megakaryocytes.

Working at both ends of the cell size scale, our work relies heavily on state-of-the-art imaging techniques.

 

Several images have featured on journal and book covers, and won other awards:

 

Blood, November 2013, an NBEAL2-knockout mouse megakaryocyte:

 

Cover of the recent Platelets and Megakaryocytes volume of Methods in Molecular Biology,

where we have a chapter on advanced fluorescence microscopy imaging methods:

A better look at that cover image, deconstructed:

 

Blood, July 2015, showing a 3D render of a megakaryocyte:

 

ATVB, October 2018, a megakaryocyte taking up green fluorescent fibrinogen:

 

Winning image on the cover of Platelets for all of 2018, showing a proplatelet-forming megakaryocyte:

 

Other images:

 

When megakaryocytes produce platelets, they form long proplatelet extensions that reach into the bloodstream. The strands (here magenta) that will become platelet cytoskeletons can be hundreds of microns long.

Mouse megakaryocyte forming proplatelets

 

Multipanel SIM image of a platelet-forming mouse megakaryocyte

Proplatelet-mass

 

And the end result, a platelet, with its tubulin cytoskeleton, myosin matrix, secretory alpha granules and surface membrane:

 

Platelets may be small, but they are complicated. Here are some more aspects of their anatomy, including the actin matrix, granule contents and calcium storage system: