Blood clots are normal after injuries and cuts, but when they appear as clinical problem—clotting disorders—they pose big concern for surgeons and clinicians. At these times, clinicians administer anti-blood clotting drugs, and use medical devices to see the results. Blood vessels have markedly tortuous designs, making the results of anti-clotting devices unreliable for most of the times. Biomimetics are emerging as new way to engineer novel devices to this end.
Researchers at Texas A&M University have demonstrated how a biomimetic blood clotting device can be used in anti-clotting therapeutics. The device, they showed, could design drugs and also monitor their effectiveness in clotting disorders and to monitor pro-thrombotic or anti-thrombotic therapies.
Pediatric Patients in Critical Care Target Population
The team tested these devices in pediatric patients who were at critical care. These patients were suffering from heart and lung problems. Typically patients were on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine, which advance blood clotting through anticoagulants. Anticoagulated pediatric patients by the virtue of low platelet count are prone to bleeding. Hence, clinicians usually need to be extremely cautious with the progress of the therapy. This requires skilled lab technician and also a constant monitoring—factors that may need clinically significant volumes of blood samples. The developers of the device got an opportunity to test their device in rea patient. The margin of error—they claimed—was near to zero.
The device, assert the researchers, will pave way to evidence-based clinical decisions in anti-clotting therapies: a difficult feat to achieve with current technologies. In coming months, the designers of the biometrics will work relentless on making clinicians aware of performance advantages.