Synthetic Platelets Breakthrough could Transform Trauma and Surgical Care

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A breakthrough study, published in Science Translational Medicine, features a biomedical engineering innovation with the potential to transform trauma care and surgical practices. The multidisciplinary, multi-university scientific research team developing platelet-like particles that integrate into the body’s clotting pathways to stop haemorrhage.

Addressing a longstanding gap in surgical and trauma care, this advancement holds potential for patient implementation. Patients experiencing acute trauma often require platelet transfusions to manage bleeding; storage constraints restrict their utility in prehospital scenarios. Synthetic platelet-like particles (PLPs) offer a potential alternative for promptly addressing uncontrolled bleeding.

The team has engineered platelet-like particles capable of traveling through the bloodstream and then homing to the site of tissue damage, where they augment the clotting process and then support subsequent wound healing. The approach addresses an unmet clinical need in trauma care and surgical practice. Research team member Andrew Lyon, Founding Dean and Professor of Chapman University’s Fowler School of Engineering, stress the importance of this breakthrough.

“This work represents a pivotal moment in biomedical engineering, showcasing the tangible translational potential of Platelet-Like Particles,” remarked Lyon. “This remarkable collaborative effort has led to a solution that not only addresses critical clinical needs but also suggests a paradigm shift in treatment modalities.”

The study’s comprehensive approach involved rigorous testing in larger animal models of traumatic injury and illustrated that the intervention is extremely well tolerated across a range of models.

Ashley Brown, corresponding author on the study and an associate professor in the joint biomedical engineering program at North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said, “In the mouse and pig models, healing rates were comparable in animals that received platelet transfusions and synthetic platelet transfusions and both groups fared better than animals that did not receive either transfusion.”

One of the study’s most significant findings is that these particles can be excreted renally, presenting a breakthrough in elimination pathways associated with injectable, synthetic biomaterials. The remarkable safety profile demonstrated in the study makes it safe and effective in trauma and surgical interventions. This advancement could potentially lead to improved medical treatments and outcomes for patients undergoing such procedures.

Lyon noted, “Given the success of our research and the effectiveness of the synthetic platelets, the team is pushing forward on a path aimed at eventually seeing clinical implementation of this technology.”

Source: Chapman University