In the current study, hemostatic compositions including a combination of chitosan and kaolin have been developed. Chitosan is a marine polysaccharide derived from chitins, a structural component in the shells of crustaceans. Both chitosan and kaolin have the ability to mediate a quick and efficient hemostatic effect following immediate application to injury sites, and thus they have been widely exploited in manufacturing of hemostatic composites. By combining more than one hemostatic agent (i.e., chitosan and kaolin) that act via more than one mechanism, and by utilizing different nanotechnology-based approaches to enhance the surface areas, the capability of the dressing to control bleeding was improved, in terms of amount of blood loss and time to hemostasis. The nanotechnology-based approaches utilized to enhance the effective surface area of the hemostatic agents included the use of Pluronic nanoparticles, and deposition of chitosan micro- and nano-fibers onto the carrier. The developed composites effectively controlled bleeding and significantly improved hemostasis and survival rates in two animal models, rats and rabbits, compared to conventional dressings and QuikClot®
Combat Gauze. The composites were well-tolerated as demonstrated by their in vivo biocompatibility and absence of clinical and biochemical changes in the laboratory animals after application of the dressings.
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