Tuesday, June 12, 2012

MIT Develops a Method to Stop Bleeding in Seconds

Researchers from Hong Kong University and MIT have come up with a new way to stop bleeding in a matter of seconds using a peptide liquid. This nanobiological advance makes a significant contribution to future emergency medicine and surgery, potentially reducing blood loss and cutting surgery time in half.

Normal Healing

Normal wound repair is an extremely complex process consisting of multiple mechanisms and systems working together to establish homeostasis, produce inflammation and remodel the affected area. After the insult, bleeding usually occurs, putting a body in an unbalanced state as its losing blood and nutrients. Through vasoconstriction and coagulation (blood clotting), the body is able to seal off the wound from the rest of the world and establish a stable environment, in homeostasis.

Function of the Peptide Liquid

The peptide liquid assists the body at the first stage, without affecting the other states, as far is we know. While the body is trying to reduce the blood flow to the area by constricting the vessels, the liquid gel forms a thin barrier that provides a physical restriction on where the blood can flow. What's great about this peptide liquid is that it doesn't increase the clotting rate of the blood, as it might be suspected at first. The researchers' argument for this is that normal blood clotting factors start working about 90 seconds into the insult, a time frame much later than the effect of the liquid, and platelet aggregation, a tell-tale sign of blood clotting, is not found with the application of the liquid. Induction of clotting would otherwise create potential problems such as thrombosis, a huge blood clot obstructing the blood vessels, and/or embolism, the dislodgement of the clot into the bloodstream, which has fatal effects if it ends up in the lungs or brain.

The liquid also does not induce an immune response, a major problem in developing new drugs and techniques. 

The peptides in the solution further provide building blocks for the remodeling phase of wound repair to assist in required nutrient supply. 


The authors bring forward some very important uses for the liquid, first being its application in the OR. They state that:
"more than 57 million Americans undergo nonelective surgery each year, and as much as 50 percent of surgical time is spent working to control bleeding"
Current, and comparatively primitive, techniques, such as clamping, applying pressure and cauterizing, do not offer efficient enough blood cessation or require signification effort and stamina to perform throughout the whole operation. Reducing the energy expenditure to just keep the patient stable, which would include reducing blood loss, is a major asset that would speed up operations and reduce complications.

Another use proposed by the authors is the use of the liquid on battlefields (why not ER?). The liquid can be used in liquid environments and is easy to apply in a non-specific manner during emergencies.


The development shows promise for future medicine if further tests support the results. The peptide solution is easy to apply and works through a mechanism that doesn't disturb the body's homeostasis or immune systems, and provides the body with nutrients and building blocks for repair. I would love to see this nanomedical liquid make its way into standard medical procedures (considering the results are replication and are deemed safe, of course)

TECHTALK - New Material Halts Bleeding


Comments? What do you think of this development?


rebelwave said...

Does it not have a name? I've read the same articles about this stuff over and over but no one seems to have a name more of a vague description... what is it's official designation for God's sake?!

Oleksiy Zaika said...

I think this is being developed as a scientific discovery of the way that our body clots. There is a study (which you probably already read) on this process. I've included a link at the bottom. Their explanation is that NHS-1 and NHS-2 is responsible for the barrier that is formed. But you are right. It's odd that such promising discoveries don't have more research behind them. Would have been a little fishy if it wasn't from MIT.


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