Researchers develop injectable bandage

Researchers from the Inspired Nanomaterials and Tissue Engineering Laboratory have developed an injectable bandage made of a hydrogel agent, according to a study published in the February 2018 edition of Acta Biomaterialia.

Led by Akhilesh K. Gaharwar, MD, assistant professor in the department of biomedical engineering at Texas A&M University, the study outlined the development of the injectable bandage and its benefits as a self-administered material to prevent blood loss.

"Injectable hydrogels are promising materials for achieving hemostasis in case of internal injuries and bleeding, as these biomaterials can be introduced into a wound site using minimally invasive approaches," said Gaharwar. "An ideal injectable bandage should solidify after injection in the wound area and promote a natural clotting cascade. In addition, the injectable bandage should initiate wound healing response after achieving hemostasis."

The injectable was developed from a common thickening agent called kappa-carrageenan, taken from seaweed to develop the injectable hydrogel to stimulate the structure of human tissues. When the kappa-carrageenan is mixed with clay-based nanoparticles, an injectable gelatin is produced. With the hemostatic ability of the hydrogel gained from the nanoparticles, the injectable forms a layer capable of clotting blood.

"Interestingly, we also found that these injectable bandages can show a prolonged release of therapeutics that can be used to heal the wound" said Giriraj Lokhande, a graduate student in Gaharwar's lab and first author of the paper. "The negative surface charge of nanoparticles enabled electrostatic interactions with therapeutics thus resulting in the slow release of therapeutics."