Zebrafish model of photochemical thrombosis for translational research and thrombolytic screening in vivo

I. Ju Lee, Yi Cyun Yang, Jia Wen Hsu, Wei Tien Chang*, Yung Jen Chuang, Ian Liau

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Acute thromboembolic diseases remain the major global cause of death or disability. Although an array of thrombolytic and antithrombotic drugs has been approved to treat or prevent thromboembolic diseases, many more drugs that target specific clotting mechanisms are under development. Here a novel zebrafish model of photochemical thrombosis is reported and its prospective application for the screening and preclinical testing of thrombolytic agents in vivo is demonstrated. Through photochemical excitation, a thrombus was induced to form at a selected section of the dorsal aorta of larval zebrafish, which had been injected with photosensitizers. Such photochemical thrombosis can be consistently controlled to occlude partially or completely the targeted blood vessel. Detailed mechanistic tests indicate that the zebrafish model of photochemical thrombosis exhibits essential features of classical coagulation and a thrombolytic pathway. For demonstration, tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), a clinically feasible thrombolytic agent, was shown to effectively dissolve photochemically induced blood clots. In light of the numerous unique advantages of zebrafish as a model organism, our approach is expected to benefit not only the development of novel thrombolytic and antithrombotic strategies but also the fundamental or translational research targeting hereditary thrombotic or coagulation disorders. (Figure presented.).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)494-502
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biophotonics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2017


  • drug screen
  • photochemistry
  • thrombolysis
  • thrombosis
  • zebrafish

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