The hemostatic microneedle technology developed by Sheikhi can be applied like a typical adhesive bandage to quickly stop bleeding. The biocompatible and biodegradable microneedle arrays (MNAs) on the patch increase its surface contact with blood and accelerate the clotting process. The needles also increase the adhesive properties of the patch via mechanical interlocking to promote wound closure.
"In vitro, the engineered MNAs reduced clotting time from 11.5 minutes to 1.3 minutes; and in a rat liver bleeding model, they reduced bleeding by more than 90percent," Sheikhi said. "Those 10 minutes could be the difference between life and death."
The MNA patch can be compared with the hydrogel technology that is currently used to treat bleeding wounds in hospitals, but hydrogel applications require preparation and medical expertise. The microneedle patch is pre-engineered for immediate application that anyone can use to stop bleeding, Sheikhi said, much like a typical over-the-counter adhesive bandage.
Microneedles — which are already in use to deliver biologics, such as cells or drugs, through the skin or for cosmetic procedures to stimulate collagen production — are tiny, making their application pain-free, according to Sheikhi.
The researchers are now working to translate the patch from the lab to the market, with plans to further test the technology.
COMPAMED-tradefair.com; Source: Penn State University