Explosions account for 79% of combat related injuries and often lead to polytrauma, a majority of which include blast-induced traumatic brain injuries (bTBI). These injuries lead to internal bleeding in multiple organs and, in the case of bTBI, long term neurological deficits. Currently, there are no treatments for internal bleeding beyond fluid resuscitation and surgery. There is also a dearth of treatments for TBI. We have developed a novel approach using hemostatic nanoparticles that encapsulate an anti-inflammatory, dexamethasone, to stop the bleeding and reduce inflammation after injury. We hypothesize that this will improve not only survival but long term functional outcomes after blast polytrauma. Poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) hemostatic nanoparticles encapsulating dexamethasone (hDNPs) were fabricated and tested following injury along with appropriate controls. Rats were exposed to a single blast wave using an Advanced Blast Simulator, inducing primary blast lung and bTBI. Survival was elevated in the hDNPs group compared to controls. Elevated anxiety parameters were found in the controls, compared to hDNPs. Histological analysis indicated that apoptosis and blood-brain barrier disruption in the amygdala were significantly increased in the controls compared to the hDNPs and sham groups. Immediate intervention is crucial to mitigate injury mechanisms that contribute to emotional deficits.
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We would like to acknowledge funding support by the DOD CDMRP Program W81XWH-11-1-0014 and the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award number DP20D007338 (EL).
The datasets generated during and/or analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.
Hubbard, W. Brad; Lashof-Sullivan, Margaret; Greenberg, Shaylen; Norris, Carly; Eck, Joseph; Lavik, Erin; and VandeVord, Pamela, "Hemostatic Nanoparticles Increase Survival, Mitigate Neuropathology and Alleviate Anxiety in a Rodent Blast Trauma Model" (2018). Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center Faculty Publications. 23.