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Case Western Reserve-led research team receives $2.75 million from Department of Defense to advance clot-stabilizing nanotechnology


Newswise — CLEVELAND — The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has awarded a team of researchers led by Case Western Reserve University a $2.75 million grant over four years to explore new technology for generating and stabilize a protein called fibrin, essential for maintaining protection. blood clots in an injured body.

“This technology is expected to become a potential treatment to control hemorrhage in severe traumatic injuries in civilian emergencies and on military battlefields,” said Anirban Sen GuptaWallace R. Persons Endowed Professor of Engineering and Professor of Biomedical Engineering in the Case School of Engineering at Case Western Reserve.

Sen Gupta is leading the project in collaboration with Ashley Brownassociate professor in the joint department of biomedical engineering at North Carolina State University (NCSU) and the University of North Carolina (UNC), and Matthew Nealprofessor of surgery and co-director of the Pittsburgh Trauma and Transfusion Medicine Research Center at the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt).

A natural blood clot involves two main components: a cellular component called platelets and a molecular protein component called fibrin, formed from the blood protein fibrinogen. As Sen Gupta explains more simply, if a blood clot is like stopping a flood, platelets are the sandbags and fibrin is the net that holds the sandbags.

But on the battlefield, for example, a soldier suffering a traumatic injury can bleed severely and quickly, which can deplete the components necessary for fibrin to clot properly.

Traumatic bleeding also results in various dysfunctions and deficiencies in the body’s natural ability to hold the clot stable long enough to stop the bleeding and then allow the clot to break down naturally during healing.

To address this problem, the Sen Gupta lab at Case Western Reserve developed technology that can mimic the ability of platelets to facilitate fibrin generation.

Simultaneously, the Brown lab at UNC/NCSU developed technology that mimics the biomechanical property of platelets to bind to fibrin and stabilize the clot by changing shape.

The new DoD grant will allow researchers to integrate these capabilities into a single injectable nanotechnology for the combined effect of fibrin formation and stabilization. Studies at CWRU and UNC/NCSU will help evaluate and optimize the integrated technology. It will then be tested in a traumatic injury model at Pitt to establish its ability to stop bleeding and improve survival.

“We believe that integrating these two systems into a single intravenous formulation will mimic the clot formation and platelet stabilization aspects to treat traumatic injuries,” Sen Gupta said.

For a person seriously injured in a civilian context or on a battlefield without rapid access to a hospital, death from uncontrolled hemorrhage can occur within hours. In such scenarios, transfusion of blood products is the gold standard, but blood products may not be available in a timely manner and in sufficient quantity. This is where bleeding mitigation technologies are absolutely necessary.

“Saving lives is the main thing,” Sen Gupta said. “Providing treatment as early as possible can save lives. »


Case Western Reserve University is one of the nation’s leading private research institutions. Located in Cleveland, we offer a unique combination of cutting-edge educational opportunities in an inspiring cultural setting. Our cutting-edge faculty engage in teaching and research in a collaborative, hands-on environment. Our nationally recognized programs include arts and sciences, dentistry, engineering, law, management, medicine, nursing and social work. Approximately 6,200 undergraduate students and 6,100 graduate students make up our student body. Visit to see how Case Western Reserve thinks beyond the possible.


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