Outline the formation, structure and function of the platelet.
The structure of the question outlined exactly what was expected. Platelets are formed in the bone marrow from budding of megakaryocytes. Granulocyte colony stimulating factor and thrombopoeiten play a role in the process and they have a life span of about 10 days. It was expected candidates could describe or draw the structure detailing they have no nucleus, the presence of mitochondria and granules and provide some detail of the important external surface proteins (glycoproteins, ABO, human platelet antigens). Better answers also described the internal microtubule structure and related this to function (allows contraction and shape change). The description of function required detail around the importance of platelet plug formation and the role of adhesion, aggregation and activation in this process.
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