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Blood-clotting wound dressings are limited by their need for refrigeration and short shelf life: their component proteins tend to break down. Egea Biosciences in San Diego is developing (under Army contract) a compression bandage-the type used for major wounds-coated with a blood-clotting substance that might avoid those limitations.

The dressing is a variant of the fibrinogen that the body produces to promote clotting. A key ingredient is a protein found in spider silk, says Egea CEO Glen A. Evans. This protein could form clots for large wounds that otherwise would continue to bleed. The synthetic powder does not degrade over time or need refrigeration. It is several years from commercial introduction.

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