WashingtonD.C [US], Nov. 17 : The Science Translational Medicine journal recently reported about development of a universal shear-thinning biomaterial that may provide an alternative for treating vascular bleeding.
Developed by the researchers from Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the biomaterial has potential to protect patients at high risk for bleeding in surgery.
Endovascular embolization is a minimally invasive procedure that treats abnormal blood vessels in the brain and other parts of the body beginning with a pinhole puncture in the femoral artery.
This procedure is accomplished by inserting metallic coils through a catheter into a vessel, which induces clotting to prevent further bleeding.
For patients unable to form a clot within the coiled artery or patients on high doses of blood thinners for their mechanical valves or cardiac assist devices, coil embolization could lead to complications, such as breakthrough bleeding.
According to the study, despite its improvement over open surgical procedures, re-bleeding after coil embolization is common and can be life-threatening.
The lead co-author of the study Rahmi Oklu, said shear-thinning biomaterial offers many advantages over metallic coils, the current gold standard.
"Coils require your body's ability to create a clot in order to create that occlusion. Our shear-thinning biomaterial, regardless of how anticoagulated the patient may be, will still create that occlusion," he stated.
Oklu further said the shear-thinning biomaterial, which can be injected through an endovascular catheter, creates an impenetrable cast of the vessel, preventing further bleeding.
This shear-thinning biomaterial is easier to deliver and see on a CT and on MRI, enabling physicians to better assess the outcomes of the procedure.