Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Nanofiber Hydrogel From Snake Venom Can Stop Bleeding

Scientific thinking activated!

Budak kampung would like to write about a new discovery from Rice University.. universiti nasi ke?
This article was taken from The Petri Dish paper..

Lets check it out!

A nanofiber hydrogel infused with snake venom may be the best material to stop bleeding quickly, according to Rice University scientist.

The hydrogel called SB50 incorporates batroxobin, a venom produced by two species of South American pit viper. In can be injected as a liquid and quickly turns into a gel that conforms to the site of a wound, keeping it closed, and promotes clotting within seconds.

Rice chemist Jeffrey Hartgerink, lead author Vivek Kumar and their colleagues reported their discovery in the American Society Journal ACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering. The hydrogel may be most useful for surgeries, particularly for patients who take anti-coagulant drugs to thin their blood.

"it's interesting that you can take something deadly and turn it into something that has the potential to save lives," Hartgerink said.

Batroxobin was recognized for it properties as a coagulant - a substance that encourage blood to clot - in 1936. It has been used in various therapies as a way to remove excess fibrin protein from the blood to treat thrombosis and as a topical hemostat. It has also been used as a diagnostic tool to determine blood-clotting time in the presence of heparin, an anti-coagulant drug.

"From a clinical perspective, that's far and away the most important issue here," Hartgerink said. "There's a lot of different things that can trigger blood coagulation, but when you're on heparin, most of them don't work, or they work slowly or poorly. The obviously causes the problems if you're bleeding.

"Heparin blocks the function of thrombin, an enzyme that begins a cascade of reactions that lead to the clotting blood," he said. "Batroxobin is also an enzyme with similar function to thrombin, but its function is not blocked by heparin. This is important because surgical bleeding in patients taking heparin can be a serious problem. The use of batroxobin allows us to get around with the problem because it can immediately start the clotting process, regardless of whether heparin is there or not."

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