One of the problems facing doctors, non-dolphins, and mothers of children who drink the Red Bull and yell, “Hey Y’all, Watch This!” on YouTube, is controlling blood-flow or even stopping a full-on hemorrhage at a wound.
Well that just might be a thing of the past, as UCSB docs have come up with super-small, nanoscale particles that act just like human blood-clotting agents.
Since they didn’t want to completely re-invent the wheel, the little particles are almost an exact copy of Mother Nature’s invention.
Right now, these little pellets can be injected into the bloodstream to help slow down bleeding, but application at a wound site is not out of the question thanks to a different team’s innovation.
And because they can also be tailored in size and concentration, these particles may even be able to outperform the natural wound-healers we all have in our blood.
This is particularly-helpful when the wound in-question is a very serious one, and bleeding almost out-of-control.
Luckily they are biodegradeable and specifically-dosable, so that just enough is done for the specific patient, but so much as to cause problems with healing or remains being left over later-on down the road.
One of the first trials of materials like these will be in hydrogel wound-packs for ambulances, hospitals & the military, where stopping the bleeding of large wounds quickly on-site is a big, life-or-death issue.
In that scenario, hydrogel with the tiny silica discs would be injected right into the existing wound. The gel is biodegradable, just like the discs.
The benefit of this 2nd approach is that the gel solidifies and can help hold someone together, just the way putting pressure on a wound partly does that.
The other military benefit, is their current wound-stabilizing powder just chemically cauterizes everything it touches, instead of stabilizing which hydrogel would do.
Tests of both the vein-injected nano-platelets and the wound-injected hydrogel with platelets made the bleeding stop 65% and 77% faster, respectively.
Future applications may even include enhanced healing-agents that go to work at knitting someone back together quickly after the gel stabilizes the wound-site.
The pseudo-platelets could even be used to help people heal faster-than-normal from surgery, or help others with blood-thinner or hemophilia complications have a better survival-chance after a necessary operation.
And finally, they might also be coated in all kinds of antibiotics or drugs to carry exactly the right medicines to exactly the right site and make up a total wound-care solution; -right in one syringe!
Check out the rest of the details at the Links:
“particle sea”, by Scott Fitzgerald
“Day 5 – Particles”, by Sean Dunn
• Sources: UCSB-Bio-Inspired Bleeding Control | Texas A&M-MIT-Harvard team developing injectable treatment for soldiers wounded in battle
• More Coverage: Engadget-Hydrogel for soldiers
• Source Studies: ACSNano-Platelet-like Nanoparticles: Mimicking Shape, Flexibility, and Surface Biology of Platelets To Target Vascular Injuries | ACSNano-Shear-Thinning Nanocomposite Hydrogels for the Treatment of Hemorrhage