The Magic Powder Made from Crab Shells That'll Keep You From Bleeding to Death

Bleeding profusely is no fun. And when it happens, you need to stop it. Fast. So researchers created Celox, a clot-inducing granular hemostatic agent. Using crab shells.

Celox halts minor bleeding in seconds and can stop lethal femoral artery bleeding with 3 minutes compression. Even in hypothermic conditions, Celox creates its gel-like clot in 30 seconds. It's also able to function when you've got anticoagulants (like warfarin or heparin) in your system. Celox's speed and adaptiveness is what makes it so appealing to something like the military. Because when guns are shooting and bombs are blasting, you need something that clots quickly so you can GTFO. The clotting remedy uses Chitosan, a polysaccharide found in shrimp and crab shells to work its magic:

Celox works by bonding with red blood cells and gelling with fluids to produce a sticky pseudo clot. This clot sticks well to moist tissue to plug the bleeding site. Celox does not set off the normal clotting cascade, it only clots the blood it comes directly into contact with.

Celox doesn't exactly encourage your blood to clot. Instead, it creates an artificial, gel-like clot. This gel swells when it comes into contact with blood. A larger surface area means more places for blood to attach itself to the fake clot. After the Celox disappears, you're left with a genuine, all natural clot that probably doesn't feel too great. But at least you're alive to feel it. [Celox and Department of Electrical, Computer, and Biomedical Engineering at URI]

Advertisement

Monster Machines is all about the most exceptional machines in the world, from massive gadgets of destruction to tiny machines of precision, and everything in between.

The Magic Powder Made from Crab Shells That'll Keep You From Bleeding to Death

Celox being used on a surface wound.

The Magic Powder Made from Crab Shells That'll Keep You From Bleeding to Death

A detailed look at the Celox granules, which increase in surface area when they come in contact with blood, allowing for a larger clot.

The Magic Powder Made from Crab Shells That'll Keep You From Bleeding to Death

The packets for Celox come in three sizes: 2g (for home), 4g (for pro and pictured above), and 25g (for industrial)