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The Effects Of Hydrogels

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Traumatic injury is the leading cause of death in the United States for peopled under age 44, with hemorrhage responsible for 40% of trauma mortality. Hemorrhage also contributes to the 90% of military deaths which occur before medical care is reached (Kauvar, Lefering, & Wade, 2006). This makes it one of the largest contributors to loss of productive years of life. A reduction in time before traumatic injuries involving hemorrhage receive treatment would save lives and increase the productivity of our communities. Typical standard of care for hemorrhage is to apply pressure with gauze to create a physical barrier against blood loss (Naimer & Chemla, 2000). Alternative materials, called hemostatic agents, work to stop blood loss as…show more content…
Hydrogels from naturally derived marine biopolymers have been widely studied and utilized in a large number and range of commercial applications, garnering interest particularly in the pharmaceutical and medical field (Skaugrud, Hagen, Borgersen, & Dornish, 2013). This is due to their biocompatibility, biodegradability, and low toxicity byproducts. Marine biopolymers specifically are desirable due to their high bioavailability. Thus, naturally derived marine biopolymer hydrogels provide a promising platform for hemostatic devices. Chitosan, derived from chitin, is the most abundant natural polymer in the world besides cellulose, making it relatively inexpensive (Esam & Yahaya, 2010). Chitosan has been of interest due to its many advantages as a biopolymer such as its biodegradability, non-toxicity, bio-compatibility, antibacterial properties, amenability with simple chemical modifications, and ease of processing and handling, dissolving in mild acidic solutions (Zhu, Jiang, & Xiao, 2010). Further, chitosan’s positively charged amine groups allow it to interact with the negatively charged surfaces of cells. As a result, chitosan is able to adhere to tissue at wound sites through electrostatic interactions (Cuy, 2004). Alginate is another such biopolymer, extracted from brown algae (George & Abraham, 2006). Alginate has a high affinity for cations and therefore readily forms a gel through cross-linking (Skaugrud, Hagen,
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