Polymers to Stop Deadly Blood Loss

Blood clots treated with PolySTAT (second from right) had denser fibrin networks, which helps reinforce and strengthen the clots.Image: University of Washington

Blood clots treated with PolySTAT (second from right) had denser fibrin networks, which helps reinforce and strengthen the clots.
Image: University of Washington

University of Washington researchers have developed a new injectable polymer that could keep soldiers and trauma patients from bleeding to death, called the PolySTAT.

The new polymer works to strengthen blood clots once administered into the patient’s bloodstream in a simple shot. The polymer then finds unseen internal injuries and starts working to stop the bleeding.

Researchers believe this could become the first line of defense for anything from battlefield injuries to car accidents. With testing already underway, the polymer has the potential to reach humans in as few as five years.

“This is something you could potentially put in a syringe inside a backpack and give right away to reduce blood loss and keep people alive long enough to make it to medical care,” co-author Dr. Nathan White said, an assistant professor of emergency medicine who teamed up with UW bioengineers and chemical engineers.

The new polymer has several advantages over other conventional hemorrhage treatments, including being both cheaper and more durable.

Want to see what else is trending in polymer research? Head over to the Digital Library and check out these papers!

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