Scientists at the University of British Columbia have developed a ‘self-propelled powder’ that can stop profuse bleeding in instances such as postpartum hemorrhage and gunshot wounds.

Although there are many traditional methods to stop bleeding, this self-propelled powder is the first agent to go to hard-to-reach areas where severe bleeding happens like uterus, sinus or abdomen.

Christian Kastrup, an assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the Michael Smith Laboratories at the University of British Columbia said “Bleeding is the number one killer of young people, and maternal death from postpartum hemorrhage can be as high as one in 50 births in low resource settings so these are extreme problems.

Kastrup and his team developed simple, gas-generating calcium carbonate micro-particles that can be applied in powder form to stop critical bleeding.

Almost similar to antacid tablets, the particles release carbon dioxide gas to propel them toward the source of bleeding.

The carbonate forms porous micro particles that can bind with a clotting agent known as tranexamic acid. These are then transported through wounds and deep into the damaged tissue.

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