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An injectable bandage fabricated from a seaweed-derived gel that is used in cooking can stop internal bleeding and promote wound healing, according to researchers of Indian origin in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the Texas A&M University.
This self-administering injectable gel can prevent death from excessive blood loss from road traffic accidents, internal bleeding and shrapnel injury, they claim. Researchers used kappa-carrageenan found in seaweed to design injectable hydrogels, which are jelly-like 3-D water swollen polymer networks that simulate the structure of human tissues. Mixing this hydrogel with clay-based nanoparticles produced an injectable gelatin that led to plasma protein and platelets to form blood adsorption on the gel surface to accelerate clotting.
“These biomaterials can be introduced into a wound site using minimally invasive approaches to promote a natural clotting cascade and initiate wound healing response after hemostasis (the process to stop bleeding),” said Dr Akhilesh K. Gaharwar, assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Texas A&M University. The study is published in the journal Acta Biomateriali.
Innovators are calling it a remarkable addition to the achievements in nanotechnology. “Many people die in road accidents due to internal bleeding from lack of timely medical aid, this innovation will help address the lacunae,” said Manish Goel, CEO, i3 Nanotec LLC & ICube Nanotec India.
“A more conducive environment for academia-industry partnerships and incubation space for young scientists will undoubtedly foster such and many more innovations. It is disheartening to see so many young researchers migrate to IT and finance, when nanotechnology has the potential of being lucrative while contributing to the society,“ he said.
These injectable bandages are also conducive to prolonged release of medicines used to heal wounds.
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