Research Highlights

doi:10.1038/nindia.2014.110 Published online 18 August 2014

Nano blood-clotters

Researchers have synthesized a nanocomposite that can reduce blood loss by triggering the blood-clotting process [1]. They prepared the nanocomposite by loading chitosan nanoparticles with ellagic acid, a natural polymer found in fruits and vegetables.

The researchers investigated the effectiveness of the blood-clotting agent by exposing the ellagic-acid-loaded nanoparticles to drops of rat blood in a test tube. They observed that the ellagic-acid-loaded chitosan nanoparticles gave shorter whole-blood clotting times and clot retraction times than free ellagic acid or unloaded chitosan nanoparticles. The ellagic-acid-loaded nanoparticles activated platelets, which, in turn, set off a cascade of molecular reactions, leading to the formation of a fibrin network layer.

The formation of this fibrin-based network indicates the activation of blood coagulation pathway. The researchers attributed the blood-clotting efficiency of ellagic-acid-loaded nanoparticles to hydrogen bonding between ellagic acid and the nanoparticles. This bonding enabled ellagic-acid-loaded nanoparticles to efficiently activate blood platelets by binding to their surface receptors.

In drug release studies, the nanoparticles released nearly 84% of their ellagic acid within the first 12 hours at a temperature of 37 °C and a pH of 7.4. Ellagic acid molecules loosely attached to the surfaces of the nanoparticles were released during this period of drug release.

“The present study demonstrates that ellagic-acid-loaded chitosan nanoparticles could potentially be used in the form of aerosol for treating clotting disorders and injury-related bleeding,” says Uma M. Krishnan, a senior author of the study.


References

1. Gopalakrishnan, L. et al. Ellagic acid encapsulated chitosan nanoparticles as anti-hemorrhagic agent. Carbohydr. Polymer 111, 215–221 (2014)