Intravenous Hemostat: Nanotechnology to Halt Bleeding

  1. James P. Bertram1,
  2. Cicely A. Williams2,
  3. Rebecca Robinson1,
  4. Steven S. Segal3,4,
  5. Nolan T. Flynn5 and
  6. Erin B. Lavik6,*


Blood loss is the major cause of death in both civilian and battlefield traumas. Methods to staunch bleeding include pressure dressings and absorbent materials. For example, QuikClot effectively halts bleeding by absorbing large quantities of fluid and concentrating platelets to augment clotting, but these treatments are limited to compressible and exposed wounds. An ideal treatment would halt bleeding only at the injury site, be stable at room temperature, be administered easily, and work effectively for internal injuries. We have developed synthetic platelets based on Arg-Gly-Asp functionalized nanoparticles, which halve bleeding time after intravenous administration in a rat model of major trauma. The effects of these synthetic platelets surpass other treatments, including recombinant factor VIIa, which is used clinically for uncontrolled bleeding. Synthetic platelets were cleared within 24 hours at a dose of 20 mg/ml, and no complications were seen out to 7 days after infusion, the longest time point studied. These synthetic platelets may be useful for early intervention in trauma and demonstrate the role that nanotechnology can have in addressing unmet medical needs.

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