There's a great number of ways to die from penetrating injury, but most of the cases come down to this: such an enormous amount of blood spills out of the body that it just has no choice but to stop working.
Today, however, an experimental study seems to have found the solution to the problem - researchers have created an injectable bandage that can treat shrapnel-based wounds on the battlefield in a way technologies can't.
A team of researchers derived inspiration from seaweed to design an innovative hydrogel, capable of putting an end to heavy bleeding.
What's the main gimmick of the injectable bandage? We know that tourniquets, regular bandages and applying pressure can also prevent excessive blood loss.
Well, the bandages we use now have time limits. Besides that, they all come with problems, for example, sometimes the force used when bandaging a wound creates additional internal traumas.
Shrapnel-based wounds on the battlefield are exceedingly difficult to treat due to extremely heavy bleeding and the risk of losing too much blood before the wound is treated.
So what's the solution?
Most probably, we need bandages that can save millions of lives, not ones that cause additional damage to already disrupted tissues. The tricky feature of the injectable bandage is that it can effectively stop heavy internal bleeding in up to three minutes, according to recent research.
The active material in the injection is a red, edible seaweed, also referred to as k-carrageenan, commonly used as a gel former in cooking.
Adding clay to the seaweed creates a frame to the gel, which effectively transforms into what we call an 'injectable bandage'.
During tests with animal and human tissue, the bandage triggered blood clotting in up to three minutes. Besides that, the bandage considerably boosted wound healing and tissue regeneration.
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In the nearest future, researchers want to implement further techniques to use injectable bandages to deliver drugs to wound areas. Though it's yet unclear when the bandage may be used on human wounds, we cannot wait for this lifesaver to hit pharmacies.