In tests on skin, liver, lung, blood vessels and a variety of other tissue, Ellis-Behnke and his colleagues were able to use the liquid to halt bleeds in less than 15 seconds. The mechanism for this ability remains something of a mystery.
‘It isn’t clotting that we’re seeing. We tested for all of the things you find in all blood clots; fibrin, thrombin and platelets and none of them were there,’ said Ellis-Behnke. ‘Either this is acting as some kind of molecular band aid or we are stopping bleeding via a completely new direction that we have never seen before.’
Once the liquid touches an internal organ, it forms a gel; the amino acids assemble into fibres and stop the bleed. The degradable peptide then breaks down into non-toxic products as the tissue heals.
These products can even be used by cells to rebuild damaged tissue, according to the researchers. During the study, the liquid was used successfully internally and externally, before breaking down to be incorporated into the healed tissue or excreted in the urine.
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