Internal hemorrhaging is a leading cause of death after traumatic injury on the battlefield. Although several surgical approaches such as the use of fibrin glue and tissue adhesive have been commercialized to achieve hemostasis, these approaches are difficult to employ on the battlefield and cannot be used for incompressible wounds. Here, we present shear-thinning nanocomposite hydrogels composed of synthetic silicate nanoplatelets and gelatin as injectable hemostatic agents. These materials are demonstrated to decrease in vitro blood clotting times by 77%, and to form stable clot-gel systems. In vivo tests indicated that the nanocomposites are biocompatible and capable of promoting hemostasis in an otherwise lethal liver laceration. The combination of injectability, rapid mechanical recovery, physiological stability, and the ability to promote coagulation result in a hemostat for treating incompressible wounds in out-of-hospital, emergency conditions.
Keywords: hemorrhage; hydrogels; nanocomposites; shear thinning; synthetic silicate nanoplatelet.