Western University Professor and bioengineer Kibret Mequanint, together with international collaborators, has discovered that blood clotting enzymes from snake tissue found in one of South America’s most venomous snakes provides a fast-acting solution to bleeding caused by trauma and accidents.
According to the researchers, sealants using the enzymes (reptilase or batroxobin) from the lancehead (or Bothrops atrox), halve the blood clotting time from 90 to 45 seconds, when compared to clinical fibrin adhesives currently in use. It also increases the adhesive strength of the sealant tenfold, which boosts its resistance to washout or detachment caused by heavy bleeding.
The body tissue adhesive which includes the particular snake tissue enzyme is incorporated with modified gelatin before being packed into a small tube which fits well in first aid kits. According to the team, application is done by squeezing the tube, and exposing the deposited adhesive immediately to visible light of the kind produced by a laser or smartphone for a few seconds.
The research team reports that the adhesive coagulant provides fast clotting of life-threatening bleeding caused by major trauma as war and car crashes, and has been tested for use to seal severely injured livers, skin cuts and ruptured aortae, as well as for closing surgical wounds without sutures.
Source: Science Daily