Nature Materials, Vol.16, No.1, 147-152, 2017
Complete prevention of blood loss with self-sealing haemostatic needles
Bleeding is largely unavoidable following syringe needle puncture of biological tissues and, while inconvenient, this typically causes little or no harm in healthy individuals. However, there are certain circumstances where syringe injections can have more significant side effects, such as uncontrolled bleeding in those with haemophilia, coagulopathy, or the transmission of infectious diseases through contaminated blood. Herein, we present a haemostatic hypodermic needle able to prevent bleeding following tissue puncture. The surface of the needle is coated with partially crosslinked catechol-functionalized chitosan that undergoes a solid-to-gel phase transition in situ to seal punctured tissues. Testing the capabilities of these haemostatic needles, we report complete prevention of blood loss following intravenous and intramuscular injections in animal models, and 100% survival in haemophiliac mice following syringe puncture of the jugular vein. Such self-sealing haemostatic needles and adhesive coatings may therefore help to prevent complications associated with bleeding in more clinical settings.