In the initial study with rats, 100 per cent of animals injected with PolySTAT survived a typically lethal injury to the femoral artery. Only 20 per cent of rats treated with a natural protein that helps blood clot survived.
“Most of the patients who die from bleeding die quickly,” said co-author Dr. Nathan White, an assistant professor of emergency medicine who teamed with UW bioengineers and chemical engineers to develop the macromolecule. “This is something you could potentially put in a syringe inside a backpack and give right away to reduce blood loss and keep people alive long enough to make it to medical care.”
According to a statement, the UW team was inspired by factor XIII, a natural protein found in the body that helps strengthen blood clots.
Normally after an injury, platelets in the blood begin to congregate at the wound and form an initial barrier. Then a network of specialised fibres called fibrin start weaving themselves throughout the clot to reinforce it.