Injectable Foam Stops the Bleeding
Kyle Maxey posted on December 13, 2012 | 4956 views

War has awful consequences. Soldiers are wounded and killed. The Department of Defense has a goal to provide wounded soldiers with advance-level treatment within 60 minutes of being wounded. This 60 minute time frame, known as the “Golden Hour” is critical in helping a soldier survive an injury.

Sadly, when it comes to wounds in the abdominal region there is often little doctors can do to prevent the loss of life.

In 2010 DARPA created its Wound Statsis Stasis project “in the hopes of finding a technological solution that could mitigate damage from internal hemorrhaging.” Initially the goals of the projects were to find a “biological mechanism” that could find wounded tissue and bind to it to stop internal hemorrhaging.

As the project progressed DARPA’s partner Arsenal Medical Inc. found a better solution.  Rather than using a biological mechanism, Arsenal’s team developed a foam like material that could be used to stop internal hemorrhaging for at least one hour.

Arsenal’s technology is designed to be administer by combat medics in the field, and easily removed by surgeons at nearby medical facilities.

DARPA describes the Wound Stasis’ core technology as “a polyurethane polymer that forms inside a patient’s body upon injection of two liquid phases… As the liquids mix, two reactions are triggered. First, the mixed liquid expands to approximately 30 times its original volume while conforming to the surfaces of injured tissue. Second, the liquid transforms into solid foam capable of providing resistance to intra-abdominal blood loss.”

When it comes to removing the foam a surgeon can remove it as a single block in less than a minute.

DARPA believes that if the Wound Stasis project’s initial results prove that the technology could help treat “up to 50 percent of potentially survivable battlefield wounds.”

Recently, DARPA has awarded Arsenal Medical a $15.5 million grant to continue their research on their foam Wound Stasis system. This additional funding will be used for further development of the Wound Statis system and will also “support regulatory submission.”

While many of war’s consequences are regrettable it’s encouraging to see that injured military personnel aren’t forsaken. Here’s to hoping that the Wound Stasis project is a resounding success, and that it can be used in the battlefield as soon as possible.

Read More at DARPA

Images and Video Courtesy of DARPA 

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