When a traumatic injury occurs, stopping bleeding in a timely fashion is key for survival. In fact, blood loss is a leading cause of death in America for people under the age of 46. A recent Medgadget article discussed a new type of bandage developed for hemostatic control to help folks survive these types of injuries. Tourniquets can be used in a pinch (pun obviously intended), but aren’t ideal in all situations. So a team of researchers at Penn State set out to develop a microneedle patch with hemostatic properties.
The patch is both biodegradable and biocompatible due to its gelatin methacryloyl biomaterial composition, and contains silicate nanoplatelets that rapidly stop bleeding. The ready-to-use patches could be especially useful in first aid kids or military field kits to promote rapid blood coagulation. The team has tested the devices in a rat liver bleeding model where it reduced bleeding by more than 90% compared to an untreated control group. In another test, the microneedle arrays brought clotting time down from 11.5 minutes to just 1.3 minutes, which could be the difference between life and death.