Researchers develop ‘nanoplaster’

JIJI

Researchers have developed a “nanoplaster” that can be used to arrest massive arterial bleeding from injuries or surgical wounds, which may help end surgeries quicker and ease the burden on patients.

Manabu Kinoshita, associate professor at National Defense Medical College, Waseda University professor Shinji Takeoka and their colleagues confirmed by experimenting on a rabbit that the ultrathin sheet was effective in arresting hemorrhaging when applied to a cut sliced in a major vein of the animal.

Aiming for clinical application of the technology in four to five years, the team will work with drugmakers on a production method.

The transparent sheet is 75 nanometers thick, much thinner than plastic food wrap, at about 10 micrometers. A nanometer is 1 billionth of a meter.

The nanoplaster, made of chitosan from crab shell and alginate sodium from seaweed, sticks fast to the surface of blood vessels without glue thanks to intermolecular attraction known as van der Waals’ forces. The plaster completely dissolves in the body in two to three weeks.

Unlike fibrin adhesive, the nanoplaster, which can be applied in layers, has no risk of causing postsurgical adhesion and allows doctors to arrest hemorrhage more easily and quickly than by stitching up cuts.

But the researchers also said the sheet must be improved to stop high-pressure arterial bleeding.