DARPA develops a foam that stops internal bleeding

DARPA

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is developing an injectable foam that could help save the lives from internal bleeding. The agency hopes use the foam to stabilize critically wounded soldiers on the battlefield before transporting them to a proper medical facility.

If you’re familiar with Halo Universe lore, DARPA's foamy solution resembles the bio-foam used in Halo 3: ODST. In essence the injectable foam is a space filling, artificial coagulant that can be used to stop internal bleeding for up to an hour.

The substance is a polyurethane polymer foam developed by Arsenal Medical as part of DARPA’s Wound Stasis program. The foam is delivered by an injection of two liquids that react to each other and expand to 30 times their original volume.

The foam expands to fill in the abdominal cavity to create a solid dressing that presses against internal injuries while conforming to the rest of your organs. Of course, the material is completely removable: In the tests, the hardened foam did not stick to organs, and surgeons were able to remove it by hand in a single block in less than a minute.

So far the medical foam has only been tested in pigs, whose survival rate after liver injuries jumped from 8 to 72 percent. Arsenal Medical says it is currently working on a version for civilian use while DARPA is securing the FDA’s approval.

[DARPA via Dvice]

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