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BME Assistant Professor Ashley Brown and Associate Professor Michael Daniele together with graduate and undergraduate students of the Joint BME Department have developed a new tool for addressing disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) – a blood disorder that proves fatal in 40% to 78% of patients. The technology has not yet entered clinical trials, but in vivo studies using rat models and in vitro models using blood from DIC patients highlight the tech’s potential.

“DIC basically causes too much clotting and too much bleeding at the same time,” says Dr Brown. “Doctors often focus on trying to treat underlying condition. But if the DIC is bad, doctors face a dilemma: if they treat the bleeding, they’ll make the clotting worse; if they treat the clotting, they’ll make the bleeding worse. Our goal is to find a clinical intervention that addresses this dilemma.” Brown and her collaborators have developed a technique that makes use of nanogel spheres. The spheres are engineered to bind to a protein called fibrin, which is the main protein found in blood clots. As a result, the spheres will travel through the bloodstream until they reach a blood clot, at which point they will stick to the fibrin in the clot.

In a rat model involving DIC that stems from sepsis, the researchers found that delivering tPA via the targeted nanospheres eliminated 91 and 93% of the clots found in the heart and lung respectively, and 77% of the clots found in the liver and kidneys. You can read the full article here and the full paper is published in the journal Blood Advances.

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