Issue Date: August 27, 2012
Nanoparticles Help To Stem Internal Bleeding
Nanoscale polymeric particles could one day offer a lifesaving treatment for internal bleeding. Currently, emergency medical responders have few options for treating internal bleeding in the field. Now, Erin Lavik and coworkers at Case Western Reserve University have developed artificial synthetic platelets that emergency responders could administer at the scene of an accident. The particles are roughly 300 nm in diameter with a core made of poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid)—the same stuff that goes into dissolvable sutures. A covalently attached polyethylene glycol corona keeps the particles from clumping together and helps them evade the body’s immune system. Finally, a short peptide containing arginine, glycine, and aspartic acid, better known as the RGD peptide, decorates the surface. Platelets activated for clot formation have a receptor for this peptide, so the nanoparticles glom onto the platelets and help them clump together with blood cells. Lavik’s team has had success using the particles to stop internal bleeding, with no adverse effects, in small animals. Next, they hope to scale the technology up to larger animals.
- Chemical & Engineering News
- ISSN 0009-2347
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