At Texas A&M University researchers have developed a therapeutic hydrogel for injecting into bleeding wounds that can significantly speed up the hemostasis. The new injectable hydrogel material consists of nanosilicates, which are nanoparticles made from common minerals, and a thickening agent used in food preparation called kappa carrageenan. It can be produced for pennies per dose and doesn’t require special handling procedures.
The hydrogel stays in a liquid state when under mechanical pressure, such as during an injection, but as soon as the force is released it turns to solid. The material interacts with the blood by attracting plasma protein and platelets to its surface and activating them once attached. This helps to kick-start the clotting process, which has been lowered in laboratory studies from about six minutes to approximately two minutes.
The researchers believe their new gel can overcome some of the limitations of current products that rely on applying pressure to the wound, causing further damage, and that lack any “biofunctional” abilities.
In addition to the gel’s current features, the researchers hope to embed proteins, growth factors, and other biologics into the material, speeding up the overall healing process. They believe that they can include just about any time of small molecule drug or large molecule protein for sustained release from the gel.
One nice feature of the new gel is that it can be stored at room temperature for long periods of time, making it easy to implement and applicable for battlefield situations.
Study in journal Acta Biomaterialia: Nanoengineered injectable hydrogels for wound healing application…
Via: Texas A&M…