Hemorrhages, i.e., cases of strong bleeding, cause a large number of deaths. Pressing gauze or other fabrics on wounds is common in first aid, but pressure alone often is not sufficient to stop bleeding. Using materials that cause the coagulation of blood, such as zeolites or clays, can help. However, hybrid fabrics that include such inorganic materials often lose much of the active component, which reduces their performance and can cause side effects.
Yihan Zhu, Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou, China, Jie Fan, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China, and colleagues have developed a tightly-bonded zeolite-cotton hybrid material that can be used to stop bleeding. The team used mesoporous chabazite-type (mCHA) zeolites, which can absorb water quickly and induce coagulation. These zeolites were grown directly on cotton fibers using a hydrothermal approach.
In the resulting hybrid material, the zeolite crystals are tightly bound to the cotton fibers. The crystals are well-dispersed on the fibers, which keeps the material flexible enough to be used in fabrics. The team tested the performance of the hybrid material for stopping bleeding in rabbits and found that it acted twice as fast as pure cotton. The material also outperformed clay-impregnated fabrics. As a proof of concept, the researchers fabricated a t-shirt from the developed material, which is resistant to washing and could provide a low-cost, always-on-hand way to stop hemorrhages in cases of emergency.
- A tightly-bonded and flexible mesoporous zeolite-cotton hybrid hemostat,
Lisha Yu, Xiaoqiang Shang, Hao Chen, Liping Xiao, Yihan Zhu, Jie Fan,
Nat. Commun. 2019.