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Blood contains a wide range of cells with important functions. Platelets are blood cells whose function is to stop bleeding by triggering blood clotting. The University of Reading is focused on understanding the blood cell responses to dietary components. The approach we use is to separate platelets from other blood cells and then expose them to dietary components (anthocyanins, which are found in berry fruits and their degradation products) and blood clotting agents, so that we can examine their responses. This work is important in identifying the cellular mechanisms for the relationship between diet and health.

Our research examines the influence of dietary components on platelet function. We require fresh blood, from which we will prepare platelet-enriched plasma to use in experiments. We will expose your platelets to the dietary component of interest (anthocyanins and their degradation products) measure aspects of blood clotting. This will tell us whether the dietary component is potentially able to alter platelet function.

We need healthy volunteers who do not have any conditions for which they require medication. Sometimes we will be looking specifically for individuals aged 18-35y or 65-85y because we are interested in changes in immune cell function with age, and therefore need to make comparisons between young and older people.

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