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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 78-79

Remembering the discovery of platelets: Max Schultze (1865) and Giulio Bizzozero (1882)

Consultant Vascular Surgeon, Kauvery Hospital, Salem, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission04-Feb-2020
Date of Acceptance05-Feb-2020
Date of Web Publication16-Mar-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Karthikeyan Sivagnanam
Consultant Vascular Surgeon, Kauvery Hospital, Salem, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijves.ijves_14_20

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How to cite this article:
Sivagnanam K. Remembering the discovery of platelets: Max Schultze (1865) and Giulio Bizzozero (1882). Indian J Vasc Endovasc Surg 2020;7:78-9

How to cite this URL:
Sivagnanam K. Remembering the discovery of platelets: Max Schultze (1865) and Giulio Bizzozero (1882). Indian J Vasc Endovasc Surg [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Jul 5];7:78-9. Available from:

Hemostasis is a protective physiological mechanism that functions to stop hemorrhage on vascular injury. The two principal components of hemostasis are: (i) platelets, specialized cells that adhere to the damaged tissue and form a primary plug reducing blood loss; (ii) blood coagulation, a complex reaction network that turns fluid plasma into a solid fibrin gel to completely seal the wound.[1]

This article remembers the discovery of platelets by Giulio Bizzozero and Max Schultze who worked independently at two different points of time and noticed the effect of the constituent of blood that is responsible to regulate blood to flow as a liquid and also adhere to blood vessels to stop leaking and clot during injury.

Platelets were discovered by the Italian pathologist Giulio Bizzozero in 1882. He observed them microscopically in the circulating blood of living animals and in the blood removed from the blood vessels. Moreover, he carefully described platelet function in flowing conditions and the relationship between platelet adhesion, aggregation, and subsequent fibrin formation and deposition.

Giulio Bizzozero [2] (1846–1901) is eponymously honored with Bizzozero's particles which is called the platelets. His birth centenary falls on March 20. One of Virchow's ablest pupils, he became a Professor of general pathology at the University of Turin. His contribution includes the first to study the histology of experimental tuberculosis and to observe cell inclusions which is a landmark work on the concept of phagocytosis. He is also related to rediscovering Helicobacter pylori as the bacteria responsible for chronic gastritis disease. Among those who studied in his laboratory were Edoardo Bassini, the surgeon who perfected inguinal hernia surgery; Carlo Forlanini, who introduced therapeutic pneumothorax in treating pulmonary tuberculosis; and Antonio Carle and Giorgio Rattone, who demonstrated the transmissibility of tetanus.[3]

Although Bizzozero published the work on platelets, the first accurate description of them was done by Max Schultze in 1865.[4] Bizzozero makes this recognition clearly in his paper published on platelets. Born in 1825, educated at home, Max Schultze had an interest in marine invertebrates and an intention to follow a career in research. His work related to the early development of ideas about the cell. He described the cell as a blob of cytoplasm containing a nucleus without a cell membrane, which was contrary to the findings of Carl B. Reichert who of course, correctly thought that the cell does have a membrane. Reichert was the editor of the journal, Archiv Fur Anatomie, Physiologie und Wissenschaftliche Medicin in which Scultze's paper was published under protest by Reichert. This lead Max Schultze to start his own journal that has undergone several changes to appear under the title Cell and Tissue Research, a leading international journal.

Finally, in 1967, the antiplatelet effect of aspirin [5] was described by Weiss and Aldort in 1967 when they noted their effect on a set of healthy individuals. However, the effect of aspirin in the prevention of coronary thrombosis was reported by Craven in 1950.[6]

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  References Top

Tosenberger A, Ataullakhanov F, Bessonov N, Panteleev MA, Tokarev A, Volpert V. The role of platelets in blood coagulation during thrombus formation in flow. 2012. Available from: [Last submitted on 2012 Sep 13].  Back to cited text no. 1
Bizzozero J. On a new blood particle and its role in thrombosis and blood coagulation. Nature 1946;157:331-2.  Back to cited text no. 2
Available from: [Last accessed on 2020 Feb 23].  Back to cited text no. 3
Brewer DB. Max Scultze (1865), G. Bizzozero (1882) and the discovery of the platelet. Br J Haematol 2006;133:251-8. [Doi. Org/10.1111/J.1365-2141.2006.06036.X].  Back to cited text no. 4
Weiss HJ, Aledort LM. Impaired platelet-connective-tissue reaction in man after aspirin ingestion. Lancet 1967;2:495-7.  Back to cited text no. 5
Craven LL. Acetylsalicylic acid, possible preventive of coronary thrombosis. Ann West Med Surg 1950;4:95.  Back to cited text no. 6


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