Snakes! The very thought of the creatures is enough to send shivers down one’s spine. On the other hand, these poisonous creatures may hold some secrets for humankind.
According to a statement issued by the institution on Monday, a biomaterials research team from the University of Queensland’s Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN), led by Postdoctoral Research Fellow Amanda Kijas, has discovered a protein in the venom of two snakes (Australia’s eastern brown and scaled viper) that has the potential to serve as a useful accelerant in the natural blood-clotting process that occurs within the human body.
A gel with the ability to close wounds
As a result of the research, a gel has been developed that can halt bleeding by coagulating at the temperature of the body to close wounds.
According to Kijas, “up to forty percent of trauma-related deaths are the consequence of uncontrolled bleeding, and this statistic is substantially greater when it comes to the number of military members who have serious bleeding in a battle zone.”
“Nature has developed the most exquisite and complex systems, and we have the ability to repurpose them in order to prevent individuals from passing away as a result of uncontrolled bleeding. When compared to the natural process that occurs within the body, the research demonstrates that when the venom gel is administered, there is a reduction in blood loss that is five times greater, and clots form three times more quickly.”
The researcher stated that this includes persons who have hemophilia as well as those who take medications that thin the blood.
Kijas went on to say that the modern first aid therapy that involves employing gauze items is frequently ineffective at putting a halt to bleeding in the event of an emergency.
According to Kijas’s explanation, “when a traumatic injury occurs, the complexity of the healing process overloads the body’s capacity to regulate the bleeding.”
It’s possible that the new gel is the best option for treating big wounds.
According to what he had to say, “We expect that this gel can speed the wound-healing processes that are needed for clotting and lowering blood flow, ultimately enhancing the body’s capacity to repair major wounds.”
Venomous snake bites and their treatments
Obviously, people have found yet another application for snake venom, and that is to treat people who have been bitten by snakes.
Antivenom is only produced in extremely limited numbers, which is a great shame. Due to the fact that they are also quite costly, the vast majority of people do not have access to them. Last but not least, the fact that snake venom has evolved over the years has made it exceedingly difficult to develop a single antivenin that is effective against all different types of snakes.
2014 saw the end of production for a material that offered protection against the bite of ten distinct species of snakes; unfortunately, the substance was not profitable enough to warrant further research and development. Because of this, we have a very low level of protection against snake bites.
The question that arises next is whether or not it will be possible for us to develop a new antivenom that is effective in time to prevent the terrible effects of snake bites. Although the researchers are making significant progress toward their goal of making the drug useful to human lives, they are unable to prevent accidents from occurring.
If this new idea is successful, it might potentially speed up the process of creating antivenoms. Let’s hope so.