A surface plasmon resonance (SPR) apparatus was used to investigate blood plasma coagulation in real time as a function of thromboplastin and heparin concentrations. The response curves were analyzed by curve fitting to a sigmoid curve equation, followed by extraction of the time constant. Clotting activation by thromboplastin resulted in increased time constant, as compared to spontaneously clotted plasma, in a dose dependent way. Addition of heparin to the thromboplastin-activated plasma counteracted this effect. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) pictures of sensor surfaces dried after completed clotting, revealed differences in fibrin network structures as a function of thromboplastin concentration, and the fiber thickness increased with decreased thromboplastin concentration. The physical reason for the SPR signal observed is ambiguous and is therefore discussed. However, the results summarized in the plots and the fibrin network properties observed by AFM correlate well with present common methods used to analyze blood coagulation. © 2000 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers.