Needle that Completely Prevents Bleeding in Mice Could Benefit Hemophilia Patients

Özge Özkaya, PhD avatar

by Özge Özkaya, PhD |

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Researchers from South Korea have developed a new type of needle that is able to completely prevent bleeding following syringe needle puncture. The innovative new needle can be an valuable tool for people with blood clotting disorders like hemophilia where syringe injections can have significant side effects such as uncontrolled bleeding.

The surface of the needles, developed by Dr. Mikyung Shin and collagues of Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology in Daejeon, South Korea, is coated with a partially cross-linked adhesive polymer called catechol-functionalized chitosan, which is inspired by the adhesion behavior of mussels.

When tissue is punctured, the polymer undergoes a solid-to-gel phase transition at the site of the puncture and seals the tissue, stopping the bleeding.

Using a mouse model, researchers showed that the needle is able to completely prevent blood loss following injections into veins as well as into muscles. They also showed that when they punctured the neck vein of hemophilic mice using the special needle, all of the animals survived.

“Such self-sealing hemostatic needles and adhesive coatings may … help to prevent complications associated with bleeding in more clinical settings,” the researchers wrote in their report.

Tissue punctures with syringe needles may be needed to sample blood in order to diagnose a medical condition, as well as to administer certain drugs. Although the unavoidable bleeding following syringe needle punctures is largely harmless in healthy people, it can have major implications in people with bleeding disorders like hemophilia. These patients may also experience bruising caused by bleeding under the skin, preventing additional drug injections as well as the monitoring of the progression of their condition.

According to the global annual survey data from the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH), nearly 300,000 people have bleeding disorders, including hemophilia. These people could potentially benefit from this new type of needle.

According to the authors, “the self-sealing material interaction used may also in future be applied to many further types of biomedical devices that require management of haemostatic function.”

The study, “Complete prevention of blood loss with self-sealing haemostatic needles,” was published in the scientific journal Nature Materials.