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A brand new type of bandage helps blood clot with out sticking to wounds, researchers report.

The brand new work marks the primary time that scientists have mixed each properties in a single materials.

“We didn’t truly plan this, however that’s simply how science works generally: you begin researching one factor and find yourself some place else,” says Dimos Poulikakos, professor and chair of thermodynamics at ETH Zurich.

Scientists from his group and the Nationwide College of Singapore developed and examined numerous superhydrophobic supplies—which, like Teflon, are extraordinarily good at repelling liquids like water and blood.

They got down to discover coatings for units that come into contact with blood, comparable to heart-lung machines or synthetic coronary heart units, for instance.

One of many supplies they examined demonstrated some sudden properties: not solely did it repel blood, but it surely additionally aided the clotting course of. Though this made the fabric unsuitable to be used as a coating for blood pumps and associated units, the researchers shortly realized that it might work ideally as a bandage.

An illustration shows the bandage being removed, as well as an inset that shows the fibers in the bandageThe brand new type of bandage is coated with silicone and carbon nanofibers. (Credit score: Li Z et al./Nature Communications)

Two-in-one bandage

Repelling blood and attaining quick clotting are each useful properties in bandages: blood-repellent bandages don’t get soaked with blood and don’t adhere to the wound, to allow them to be simply eliminated later, which avoids secondary bleeding.

Substances and supplies that promote clotting, then again, cease bleeding as shortly as doable. Nevertheless, up to now, no supplies that concurrently repel blood and in addition promote clotting have existed.

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The researchers took a traditional cotton gauze and coated it with the brand new materials—a mixture of silicone and carbon nanofibers. Laboratory exams confirmed that blood involved with the coated gauze clotted in just a few minutes. Precisely why the fabric triggers blood clotting would require additional analysis, however the crew suspects that it’s because of the interplay with the carbon nanofibers.

Left: Blood is totally absorbed into gauze. Right: The drop of blood sits on top of the bandage. Below: the fibers appear gray on a black background, and look a bit like hairsLeft, common cotton gauze that absorbs blood. Proper, gauze coated with carbon nanofibers in silicon. Beneath: Shut-​ups of the cotton fibers beneath an electron microscope. (Credit score: Li Z et al./Nature Communications)

The researchers additionally confirmed that the coated gauze has an antibacterial impact, as micro organism have bother adhering to its floor. Animal exams with rats demonstrated the brand new bandage’s effectiveness.

Emergency surgical procedure and residential care

“With the brand new superhydrophobic materials, we will keep away from reopening the wound when altering the bandage,” says Athanasios Milionis, a postdoctoral researcher in Poulikakos’s group. “Reopening wounds is a significant drawback, primarily due to the chance of an infection, together with from harmful hospital germs—a threat that’s particularly excessive when altering bandages.”

The potential purposes for the bandage vary from emergency drugs and surgical procedure for avoiding main blood loss to plasters to be used within the residence and on the go.

A paper describing the fabric seems in Nature Communications.

ETH Zurich and the Nationwide College of Singapore have utilized for a patent for the brand new materials. Within the meantime, the researchers have to refine and optimize the fabric earlier than it may be used on people. Additionally they say they should conduct additional testing, first on bigger animals after which on people, to show its effectiveness and harmlessness.

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Supply: ETH Zurich