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Synthetic Clot Material

March 12, 2015

An injectable clotting agent may stanch life-threatening bleeding.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):

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Artistic rendering of PolySTAT integration into a forming fibrin fiber. (William Walker)

An injection to stop bleeding. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

If a patient is losing blood, and if it’s not clear where the bleeding is happening, it’s difficult for doctors to stop it. Now, University of Washington bioengineer Suzie Pun and her colleagues report in the journal Science Translational Medicine, on a synthetic clotting material that can be injected into the body. She says doctors don’t have to know the location of the bleeding.

SUZIE PUN (University of Washington):

So the material, we can just inject into the bloodstream. It flows with the blood; it recognizes forming clots and then it will integrate into them and strengthen them and stabilize them.

HIRSHON:

Any leftover material is soon flushed from the body. It’s called PolySTAT, and in rats, it bonded with natural fibrin at the wound site and quickly stopped the bleeding. Pun and her colleagues now aim to study its effectiveness in larger animals, before progressing to human trials. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.

Suzie Pun is a 2015 AAAS Lemelson Invention Ambassador, and gave a presentation on her work at AAAS.