- Blood loss is
the main cause of death in most trauma cases.
bleeding can be controlled, but internal hemorrhage can only be controlled
- Role of
nanoparticles in speeding up clotting and controlling blood loss was
have the potential to reduce blood loss and save life.
Nanoparticles are particles that measure
less than 100 nm across one dimension at least
. Due to their small size, they attain certain specific
physicochemical properties such as a high surface area to volume ratio. This
property makes them useful in several fields including medicine.
any blood vessel injury, the body controls bleeding by a complex interplay
between various constituents of the vessel wall lining
(endothelium) and platelets followed by activation of clotting
‘Nanoparticles - the possible answer to preventing bleeding related deaths.’
most minor injuries, the normal physiological mechanisms mentioned above are
sufficient to control blood loss and prevent serious hemorrhage.
larger external injuries, the wound may have to be sutured to control severe
trauma and accident cases, the issue is complicated further by serious injuries
both externally and internally.
Internal injuries and hemorrhage have to be treated only by surgery at
How do Nanoparticle Work to Stop Bleeding
order to address the need for controlling bleeding related deaths, especially
in trauma cases, researcher Erin B. Lavik and her
team have developed a nanoparticle that helps in quick clotting
is capable of binding with activated platelets
at the site of blood vessel injury. It acts
as a bridge connecting neighbouring platelets
and helps to form clots,
thereby controlling the bleeding.
To ensure that there
is no non-specific binding, this nanoparticle is coated with a substance that can only stick
to a glycoprotein found on the surface of platelets.
Studies in Rodents
studies conducted in rodents showed that nanoparticles administered
intravenously could prevent them from bleeding to death due to brain or spinal
injuries. However Lavik admits that
further research and studies are necessary to prove its efficacy in humans.
Tweaking the Nanoparticle for Testing in Humans
order that the nanoparticle be safe for human use, it should not activate the
immune system and trigger an immune response which would be problematic.
test whether the immune system is activated, nanoparticles were added to pig's
blood and levels of complement (key in immune responses) were tested. Unfortunately they were found to be high.
try and reduce the immune response effect, Lavik and her team created
nanoparticles with different charges and found that neutrally charged
nanoparticles evoked the least immune response.
neutral particles had a tendency to clump even before they were injected. This was overcome by adding a slippery
polymer to the nanoparticle storage solution that prevented their clumping.
suitable modifications were made to ensure that the nanoparticles remained
stable at high temperatures of 50o
F) and still be
effective, such as in the hot and sweltering conditions that could be expected
in a battlefield.
Future Studies Planned
on the Nanoparticles
on human blood are being planned to check for immune response and complement
safety measures are being included to ensure that the particle does not cause
non-specific clotting, leading to stroke.
the study progresses well, it is hoped that a useful clinical product may be
available within the next 5 - 10 years.
- Nanoparticles that speed blood clotting may someday save lives - (http://phys.org/news/2016-08-nanoparticles-blood-clotting.html)