New Bio Glue Stops Post-Traumatic Bleeding in Just Seconds

Chinese researchers have invented a product that could save people from bleeding out.

May 27, 2019

Medical Science is moving forward in leaps and bounds, and not a week goes by without some new lifesaving idea that gets developed to help humanity.

Chinese researchers have joined that international trend and developed a "biological glue" that could potentially save countless lives.

We've all seen TV shows where doctors perform heroic surgery only to lose the patient due to bleeding out. In this show, fiction mimics real life, and post-traumatic bleeding is the leading cause of preventable death globally according to the World Health Organization.

The current method to stem bleeding is to suture or use hemostatic agents, but while they do help, they are not efficient enough, according to the authors of the study that was recently published in Nature Communications.

The researchers decided that instead of inventing a better "band-aid," they would create a substance that mimics the body’s extracellular matrix, which is essentially the building blocks of the body's connective tissue like muscles and joints.

The result is a hydrogel that when placed on open wounds and activated through UV light thickens and solidifies, adhering to the wound, preventing blood from flowing out. The whole process takes between 20-30 seconds, and the seal is strong enough to withstand and is strong enough to withstand up to 290-mmHg blood pressure—much higher than normal.

"It is the first time that high-pressure bleeding of a beating heart with 6-millimeter diameter cardiac penetration holes was rapidly stopped and the wounds were stably sealed by only using matrix gel within 20 [seconds] without suture," the authors wrote in the study.

While the gel hasn't been tested on people yet, the prototype was used on pigs and rabbits. The gel was able to stem the bleeding of a liver cut and a femoral artery injury in rabbits in mere seconds and a punctured carotid artery in well under a minute in pigs.

Pigs' hearts are very similar to human hearts because they also have two atriums and two ventricles. According to the study, all three pigs on which the gel was tested survived and showed signs of natural healing.

"The hydrogel also effectively sealed the heart wound after [two] weeks, and almost no necrosis and very little inflammation were observed at the wound interface in pathology section staining, confirming the excellent biocompatibility of the matrix hydrogel," according to the authors. "Our data demonstrate that this synthetic gel with its controllable and rapid matrix polymerization properties can rapidly stop bleeding from cardiac penetration injuries."

Tissue engineer and one of the study's authors, Hongwei Ouyang told Science Alert that the product could be ready for use on people in the next three to five years.

This biological glue could create many happy surgical endings, both on and off the big screen.

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BONNIE RIVA RAS, EDITOR & WRITER
Bonnie Riva Ras has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.

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