Heparin, also known as plain heparin, is a natural glycosaminoglycan anticoagulant used to treat and prevent deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, arterial embolism, myocardial infarction and unstable angina pectoris. It is usually administered intravenously and can also be used in vasculature and hemodialysis machines.
Heparin was isolated from dog liver cells in 1916 by William Henry Howell and his student Jay McLean at Johns Hopkins University. It was named heparin because hepar means liver in Greek. By the 1930s, many scientists were working on heparin; One of them, Eric Jepes of Carolyn College, worked out the structure of heparin in 1935, the first human trials of heparin took place in May 1935, and by 1937 heparin had been established as a safe, effective and readily available anticoagulant.
Since its discovery in 1916, heparin has been included in the Who Standard List of Essential Medicines (all drugs that can be included in this list have been shown to be reasonably safe and effective).
As an anticoagulant, heparin, unlike EDTA, binds to most of the ions, causing interference. Therefore, heparin lithium is often used as an anticoagulant in clinical vessels and capillaries. Collection vessels and capillaries with heparin lithium as anticoagulant are labeled with green stickers and caps. If lithium ion concentration needs to be measured, a collection vessel containing heparin sodium (marked with a blue cap) can be used. Although heparin has little interference with the determination of plasma ion concentration compared with ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid, high levels of heparin may affect calcium ion concentration.
The use of a cardiopulmonary bypass machine, which will be accompanied by a heparin-coated blood oxygenator, improves the patient's overall biocompatibility and physiological balance by providing an environment close to vascular endothelial cells. The DNA binding site of ribonucleic acid polymerase can bind to heparin, preventing it from binding to promoters on the gene. This property is very useful in many experiments in molecular biology. Blood treated with heparin as an anticoagulant can obtain enough DNA from white blood cells for POLYMERase chain reaction.
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