Many casualties in emergency rooms result in death due to profuse bleeding but this could all be a matter of the past. It will now be easier for wounds to heal as a result of clotting that occurs naturally thanks to the synthetic collagen invention by Rice University.
The material used is KOD and it actually resembles real collagen which is a protein that has fibers used in binding cells into tissues and organs. It is believed that this synthetic material can do better than sponges or porcine based therapies which are used to enable healing either while surgery occurs or afterwards.
This KOD material is made up of thirty six amino acids that assemble independently into hydrogels and three helix Nano fibers. This is based on a study by Vivek Kumar and Hartgerink.
According to Hartgerink they showed that small peptides can be made and synthesized chemically meaning that the peptides can be purified thoroughly for a material that is homogeneous. In turn the peptides assemble themselves into fibers which turn into a hydrogel. It is this hierarchy that resembles the assembling of collagen that is natural.
Hartgerink adds that the importance of the collagen is greater than that of the role of being a cell scaffold. This is because the activity of a cell is largely determined by the chemical that is on the surface held to it. They have been thinking about using KOD in Hemostasis for a good period of time since.
As much as collagen that is natural is in the market, the synthetic one also has benefits. One of them being preventing immune challenges due to collagen derived from cows. KOD assures purity of a product.
Tests in the laboratory have shown that the hydrogel in KOD stops bleeding by trapping the red blood cells. This is unlike barriers that are commercial which bind and activate the platelets in forming clots. In these tests it was also noted that KOD does not bring about inflammation.
Why the strong belief in the capabilities of KOD? According to Kumar they could not relate great trauma with KOD because conventional methods like use of materials with clay had been more effective. Kumar used his own blood for the tests of comparing hemostats that are commercial and hydrogel.
His counterpart states that this is not something to be used as a first response but when healing should be natural and especially where there is scarring then the method could be quite effective.
Validation of this material is still needed in order for it to be used in surgical theatres but the researchers are thinking of using it in healing wounds and supporting graft.