BME Associate Professor Ashley Brown was recently featured in ABC11 for her work developing artificial blood platelets, which could have huge real-world impact in today’s blood supply shortage. For the first time this month, the American Red Cross declared a “blood crisis” as supply runs out at hospitals and blood banks.
Blood platelets are one of the four crucial components of human blood, the tiniest of blood cells that control bleeding and plug our injuries until they heal. For eight years now, Prof. Brown and her lab have been developing the first synthetic platelet material that can precisely mimic platelet shape change specifically at sites of injury. The team has seen success in clinical trials in mice and rats. It’s now hoping for more encouraging results with the platelets in pigs. The ultimate goal is to use the synthetic platelets in humans for surviving surgeries, traumatic injuries or blood disorders.
Since the pandemic began, there have been historically low numbers of people donating blood, fueling the current crisis. Brown said “in a situation like we’re in right now, when we have a massive blood shortage, we could take some pressure off of current blood banks.” To watch the video and read the full feature, visit ABC11 website here.