Scientists from the Institute of Nano Science and Technology (INST), under the Department of Science & Technology, India, have developed a starch-based ‘hemostat’ material that can concentrate the natural clotting factors in the blood that are critical for stopping the flow of blood, and physically absorb excess fluid.
The researchers used chemically modified natural starch to form microparticles called ‘calcium-modified carboxymethyl-starch,’ which combined with blood to form a cohesive and adherent gel within 30 seconds after contact with blood.
Apart from being non-toxic, the microparticles had added advantage of being biocompatible and biodegradable with a five- to ten-fold increase in fluid absorption, noted the team.
The microparticles were prepared by modifying some of the chemical hydroxyl groups in starch to carboxymethyl groups and incorporating the calcium ions. The modification encouraged aggregation of red blood cells and platelets facilitating the generation of fibrin protein network that forms a stable blood clot.
The researchers noted that when experimented on animal subjects with wounds having moderate to heavy blood flow, the blood loss was stopped in under a minute. The hemostat material was found to remain on the wound until it gradually dissipated as healing proceeded.
The early-stage development of the material has been published in the journal Materialia.