Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Blood Clot Bandage

PostedApril 7, 2013

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Anchor Lede: Stopping blood flow from a wound can, of course, mean the difference between life and death. So a new sponge has been engineered to speed clotting.

Randy Atkins: Even a neck wound, that obviously can’t take a tourniquet, could be quickly sealed using the sponge says Paula Hammond, a chemical engineer at M-I-T.

Paula Hammond: We can actually coat every pore of that sponge, and therefore really load it with a large amount of thrombin.

Randy Atkins: The protein thrombin induces rapid blood clotting, and Hammond devised a way to spray it into the sponge in alternating thin layers with tannic acid, a natural substance found in teas, that…

Paula Hammond: …interacts with the protein in a way that doesn’t remove its activity and preserves it.

Randy Atkins: Hammond says the active ingredients remain stable in the sponge for at least a few months. With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP News.

Anchor Tag: Early testing is promising and the sponge could be available in a few years.