Seaweed used to make injectable bandages…

‘Injectable bandages’ made from seaweed and a pastry ingredient stops internal bleeding in just 3 minutes. 

When you’re shot or struck by shrapnel, it’s not necessarily the external damage you just have to worry about most, but the hemorrhaging that goes on inside your body. This internal bleeding is a leading cause of death on the battlefield and is notoriously difficult to stop without prompt medical attention.

Sciences have invented a new way to stave internal bleeding, using an “injectable bandage” made of materials obtained from seaweed. This ‘injectable bandage’ could stop internal bleeding in just three minutes, according to this latest research.

This innovative way to heal internal wounds using a jelly-like hydrogel. Mixing a seaweed-derived thickening agent, know as Kappa-carrageenan, with clay-based nanoparticle creates the gelatinous substance, which can then be injected into the body.

Injectable hydrogels are promising materials for achieving hemostasis in cases of internal injuries and bleeding. As these biomaterials can be introduced into a wound site using minimally invasive approaches. explains

The clay-infused gel encourages bleeding to stop (hemostasis), with the nesosilicates improving the structure of the hydrogel so plasma protein and platelets trigger clotting in the blood.

Injectable bandages, made from compounds found in seaweed and gelling agents used in pastry making, the minimally invasive injection also contains clay, which triggers blood cells to clot. 

The ideal injectable bandage should solidify after injection in the wound area and promote a natural clotting cascade. Also this, the injectable bandage should initiate wound healing response after achieving hemostasis.

The treatment, which is released over several days, also creates a 3D, jelly-like substance that promotes healing of damaged tissue.

Researchers found these injectable bandages can show a prolonged release of therapeutics that can be utilized to heal the wound.

Internal bleeding is a leading cause of death in war-related injuries or during operations to open up blood vessels narrowed by plaque.

Noteworthy

Such treatments could resolve the opioid endemic that killed 33,000 people in the US in 2015 alone, with half of such painkiller prescriptions being due to chronic lower back pain.

  • In the future, the treatment could be tailored to deliver drugs to the site. 
  • It is unclear when the ‘bandage’ may be treated for wounds outside the lab.
  • Internal bleeding is a leading cause of death in war-related injuries.

Lab samples also showed significantly improved tissue regeneration, and there is even scope for the nanoparticles in the gel to be tailored for delivering medication to a wound site. If further experiments go according to plan, the “injectable bandage” could be an important tool for saving lives both on and off the battlefield.

Acknowledgments & References

Study author Giriraj Lokhande, from Texas A&M University, In a paper published in the journal Acta Biomaterialia, researchers describe a way to heal internal wounds using jelly-like hydrogel. Dr. Akhilesh K. Gaharwar, from Texas A&M.

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