Crinis Carbonisatus Inspired Hemostatic Material Design

01/08/2017

Crinis Carbonisatus had been used to accelerate wound healing and blood clotting since 16th century in Mainland China (photo was taken from 梅州市上善若水中药材有限公司). In this project, we will try to invetigate the molecular-level understandings of the biological activity of pyrolized human hair for hemostatic purposes and most importantly, to help the development of Crinis Carbonisatus inspired hemostatic biomaterials.

Uncontrolled bleeding from traumatic injury continues to be the leading causes of death in individual. However, the development of ideal hemostatic dressings with the use of low cost, ease of manufacturing and biocompatible materials having quick and effective control of bleeding remains a challenge in the field of Biomedical Engineering. One possible solution may come from the pyrolized human hair, called Xue Yu Tan, also known as Crinis Carbonisatus, which had been used to accelerate wound healing and blood clotting since 16th century in Mainland China. However, even though the extracted proteins from human hair, keratins, have demonstrated efficacy as a hemostatic agent, due to the presence of several cellular binding domains, suggesting a possible mechanism that may facilitate rapid clotting by activating and binding platelets, little is known about the mechanism by which the "pyrolized" human hair can aid in blood clotting, especially when the common experience tells us that exposed proteins to high temperatures might be restructured and degraded into smaller fragments which lose their stability and bioactivities. To gain more insights into effects of thermal treatments on structures and hemostatic functions of Crinis Carbonisatus or pyrolyzed hair keratins, the development of experimental methods in this project will encompass three major components: (i) identification of keratin protein sequences extracted from oven-cooked hair samples (room temperature to 400°C) using amino-acid labeling/mass spectrometry (AA/Mass) technique and (ii) the determination of their secondary structures using circular dichroism and finally (iii) the exploration of the regions of local similarity between pyrolyzed keratin sequences and blood clotting cofactors using protein BLAST searching databank. Results in this project should then provide the molecular-level understandings of the biological activity of pyrolized human hair for hemostatic purposes and most importantly, to help the development of Crinis Carbonisatus inspired hemostatic biomaterials.