An ‘injectable bandage’ could stop internal bleeding in just three minutes, new research suggests.
Made from compounds found in seaweed and gelling agents used in pastry making, the minimally-invasive injection also contains clay, which triggers blood cells to clot, a study found.
The treatment, which is released over several days, also creates a 3D, jelly-like substance that promotes healing of damaged tissue, the research adds.
Study author Giriraj Lokhande, from Texas A&M University, said: ‘We found these injectable bandages can show a prolonged release of therapeutics that can be used to heal the wound.’
Internal bleeding is a leading cause of death in war-related injuries or during operations to open up blood vessels narrowed by plaque.
The ‘injectable bandage’ is released over several days and enhances blood clotting
Triggers blood clotting in less than three minutes
The main substance in the injection is a red, edible seaweed, known as gelatinous k-carrageenan, which is used a thickener in many foods.
Adding clay to the substance forms a frame to the gel that effectively turns it into an ‘injectable bandage’, according to the researchers.
When tested on animal and human tissue in the lab, the treatment triggered blood clotting in less than three minutes.
It also significantly boosts tissue regeneration and wound healing.
In the future, the researchers hope the clay particles in the treatment will be able to deliver drugs to wound sites.
It is unclear when the injectable bandage may be treated on human wounds outside the lab.
The findings were published in the journal Acta Biomaterialia.
Previous research suggests a single injection could relieve back pain for years (stock)
This comes after research released in October last year suggested a single injection of stem cells could relieve agonising back pain for up to three years and curb the opioid endemic that is spreading in the UK and killing thousands annually in the US.
Stem cell injections into the spine ease the discomfort of around half of chronic lower back pain sufferers for two years, with some even being symptom-free three years later, a study found.
Researchers believe injected stem cells reinflate vertebrae that have dried and cracked by causing water to trap between discs.
Such treatments could resolve the opioid endemic that killed 33,000 people in the US in 2015 alone, with half of such painkiller prescriptions being due to chronic lower back pain.
President Donald Trump announced plans to declare an opioid endemic emergency in August, with experts fearing a similar crisis could be approaching the UK as prescriptions for the strong painkiller are too readily handed out.