A mechanistic investigation of the effect of keratin-based hemostatic agents on coagulation

Mária B. Rahmany, Roy R. Hantgan, Mark Van Dyke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Uncontrolled bleeding continues to be one of the leading causes of death in individuals following traumatic injury. Prognosis is worsened with the onset of acute coagulopathy characterized by metabolic acidosis, hypothermia and hemodilution, which consequently perpetuates blood loss and increases mortality. While there are several limitations to biomaterials employed as hemostatic agents, keratin biomaterials have demonstrated efficacy in mitigating blood loss in an animal model of hemorrhage in prior studies. Here we investigate the hypothesis that keratins actively participate in coagulation and that a potential mechanism of action is independent of temperature and dilution of clotting factors. Data from this study show that keratins appear to contribute to hemostasis by significantly decreasing plasma clotting lag times and are able to maintain activity under simulated conditions of coagulopathy. Moreover, a system of isolated fibrin polymerization provided evidence of increased fibril lateral assembly in the presence of keratin. The data provided here provides a platform for further development of keratin biomaterials as hemostatic agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2492-2500
Number of pages9
Issue number10
StatePublished - Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Blood clotting
  • Coagulopathy
  • Hemostasis
  • Keratin
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials
  • Mechanics of Materials


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