Blood Clotting and The New Biotech Injectable Bandage

in #steemstem3 years ago (edited)

Often times, we get injured during the course of one daily activity or the other. In the real sense of our existence, I don’t think anyone can categorically say he or she has never sustained an injury that resulted in bleeding – I stand to be corrected, but even kids and baby’s sometimes sustain wounds and experience bleeding.

So, if there is such a person, then I believe such a person should probably be examined by scientists, because he or she might not be earthly….😁.


Source: Wikimedia Commons: Crystal (Crystl) from Bloomington, USA


For people who have been injured in more ways than one, it is never easy having to deal with the pains from the injury, contend with the bleeding, and then initiate a very rapid treatment procedure at the same time. I’ve been a victim of a near fatal accident, and I’ve suffered injuries on occasions too, so I know from experience.

When it comes to injuries and bleeding, how do our body and skin in particular, react? The simple biological answer to that is blood-clotting or coagulation, which is a form of haemostasis (the body’s natural means of stopping the bleeding of injured blood vessels).

Bleeding as a result of a cut, bruise or a skin-tear; could also be seen as a sign that we are living human entities...😊


So, what is the idea of having your blood clot?


First of all, it is important to realise that when it comes to Haemostasis or blood-clotting; too little clotting can lead to excessive bleeding from even a minor injury, of which uncontrolled blood loss can be very dangerous.

Similarly, too much clotting can result in a blockage of blood vessels in critical areas that are not actually bleeding, leading to other complications. For instance, blood vessels leading to the brain that are clogged with blood clots can lead to stroke; while, similar clots in the blood vessels leading to the heart can lead to a heart attack, in the case of a thrombus

The clotting process usually involves three main processes:

  • Narrowing of the blood vessels (constriction)

  • The actions of cell-like particles of the blood (platelets) that help in clotting

  • The activity of proteins found in blood (clotting factors) which work with platelets to activate blood clotting


The blood clotting process in theory


Clotting factors are the proteins found in the blood which control bleeding. When an injury occurs to a blood vessel, the walls of the blood vessel naturally contract to reduce the blood flow to the affected area. The platelets which are small blood cells then stick to the injury spot and spread further along the surface of the blood vessel in order to halt the bleeding.

While that is going on, platelet plug is formed in the area. The platelet plug is formed when chemical signals are released from small sacs from within the platelets and they attract other cells to clump together in the affected area.

Once the platelets have been activated on the surface of the blood vessel, other clotting factors combine in a series of complex chemical reactions (coagulation cascade) to produce a fibrin clot. This fibrin clot then acts like a mesh to halt the bleeding process.

The coagulation factors are usually inactive in the blood as they circulate. They only get activated when a blood vessel in injured and then the coagulation cascade is initiated to alongside each coagulation factor in an organised order to create the blood clot.......for more you can visit here.


But what if technology can hasten haemostasis or blood clot?


The application of nanotechnology in biomedical science has hit new heights in recent years. And going by the recent breakthrough in the use of nanoparticles, an innovative “injectable bandage” capable of blending seamlessly with food thickening agent (Kappa-carrageenan) to rapidly halt bleeding and initiate a fast healing of wounds, has now been developed.

A team of researchers from the Texas A&M University, College Station, is heading the novel biomedical breakthrough. The gelling agent (Kappa-carrageenan) combining with the “injectable bandage” is commonly extracted from edible seaweed. And Kappa-carrageenan has been effective as a gelling agent in food for several decades.

The research team were able to blend synthetic two-dimensional nanosilicate with the Kappa-carrageenan to create an injectable hydrogel that stops bleeding. The nanoparticles enhanced the haemostasis function of the hydrogel, leading to a speed up in the blood clotting process.

As a secondary benefit of the nanotechnology adopted for the procedure, the study also revealed that the nanoparticles could be modified to carry a variety of therapeutic bio-macromolecules which leads to an enhanced wound healing process and tissue generation; and not just to stop bleeding via the injectable bandage, but to also direct therapeutic molecules into the wound itself.

One of the authors of the study, Giriraj Lokhande, stated that;

"Interestingly, we also found that these injectable bandages can show a prolonged release of therapeutics that can be used to heal the wound. The negative surface charge of nanoparticles enabled electrostatic interactions with therapeutics thus resulting in the slow release of therapeutics."


Conclusion


In most medical cases and emergencies which have ultimately resulted in death, uncontrollable bleeding happens to be one of the major causes.

If you think of medical cases involving accident victims, natural disaster (earthquakes, hurricanes, etc.) survivors or victims, and even soldiers at battle grounds; uncontrollable bleeding always seems to be a common medical emergency in such dire cases.

Although there have been some recent innovations in the recent past which have presented alternative means of speeding up clotting, but in my humble opinion, the injectable bandage might just be the real deal and most effective breakthrough in speeding up clotting.

Also, I do believe that asides rapidly halting excessive bleeding, the fact that nanoparticles in the injectable bandage promotes faster healing of wounds and aids quick tissue generation, certainly makes the new “injectable hydrogel bandage” innovation, advantageous in a triple-functional role.

For cases of patients or victims with internal bleeding from a variety of injuries, this injectable hydrogel bandage can simply be introduced directly to the site of the wound without much invasive and surgical procedure, and yet it would still yield a very effective result.


Reference & further reading


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This is a painstaking and well written article.......i think this injectable bandage will really be of help to patients with factor 8 and 9 deficiency(especially).
Love the topic....nice article

Yea, it would really be of immense help to patients @cyprianj. Thanks for reading.

La nano tecnología esta avanzando, están realizando pinturas que tienen nano partículas y no dejan proliferar virus,hongos y bacterias entre otras cosas este es un mundo maravilloso,buen articulo.Saludos

¡Guauu! Eso es bastante sorprendente. Nanopartículas aplicadas en pinturas para prevenir la biodegradación Eso es asombroso Gracias por compartir eso @delmoral. Y sí, el mundo de la ciencia es realmente sorprendente. Con suerte, puede mejorarse. Gracias por leer.

Its similar to something what I'm doing in my PhD thesis......
We are working with the hydrogels just for the wound healing and bone regeneration. This is something which can be integrated. Well I have studied about the clotting bandages which can be applied on surface, injecting it inside is something different.

Wow! That's cool @vinamra. the injecting of the hydrogel into the wound is truly remarkable. And the promise of a prompt haemostasis, faster healing and tissue re-generation is quite an achievement too for the procedure. I'm glad you are in the field and fully understand the implication of the novel innovation. Thanks for reading.

Thank God nanotechnology has shorten this far. Excessive bleeding has always been a killer to many people, but hopefully this technology is going to be globally accessible to curb the problem on a global scale.

Very true @nigtroy. Excessive bleeding has been a serial killer or some sort, in recent years. But its good to know that the trend would soon be coming to an end. Thanks for reading.

I have an artificial heart valve, so I take blood thinners everyday. Seaweed obviously has some really powerful clotting properties, it's the one food I really can't eat because it prevents the blood thinners from working. Maybe in the future the nano bots will be ready to go to work if I cut myself:). Nanotechnology is going to do some amazing things in medicine over the next two decades I think.

I agree with you @flyyingkiwi on the potency of the seaweeds in terms of clotting, and sorry you can't patronize it due to your heart issue. But yes, surely in the not too distant future, nano particles tech would really aid even those with artificial organs to live normally and go about their normal daily activities as expected. Thanks for reading.