Even though blood has the ability to coagulate, severe bleeding is still difficult to control since there are simply too few platelets to aggregate quickly enough to plug the wound. Researchers from University of California Santa Barbara and Case Western Reserve University have developed synthetic platelet-like nanoparticles that can be injected near a wound to act like natural platelets in helping to treat it.
These nanoparticles have the same shape and squishiness as our own platelets and actually help signal other platelets to aggregate. After some time the nanoparticles that did not stick to the scar are metabolized by the body to preserve the purity of essence of our precious bodily fluids.
From the study abstract in ACS Nano:
Our nanoparticles mimic four key attributes of platelets, (i) discoidal morphology, (ii) mechanical flexibility, (iii) biophysically and biochemically mediated aggregation, and (iv) heteromultivalent presentation of ligands that mediate adhesion to both von Willebrand Factor and collagen, as well as specific clustering to activated platelets. Platelet-like nanoparticles (PLNs) exhibit enhanced surface-binding compared to spherical and rigid discoidal counterparts and site-selective adhesive and platelet-aggregatory properties under physiological flow conditions in vitro. In vivo studies in a mouse model demonstrated that PLNs accumulate at the wound site and induce ∼65% reduction in bleeding time, effectively mimicking and improving the hemostatic functions of natural platelets. We show that both the biochemical and biophysical design parameters of PLNs are essential in mimicking platelets and their hemostatic functions. PLNs offer a nanoscale technology that integrates platelet-mimetic biophysical and biochemical properties for potential applications in injectable synthetic hemostats and vascularly targeted payload delivery.
UC Santa Barbara: Bio-Inspired Bleeding Control…