Electronic Control of Vasculature

Upper frames: non-treated blood vessel. Middle frames: reversible vasoconstriction. Lower frames: thrombosis.Non-compressible hemorrhage is the most common preventable cause of death on battlefield and in civilian traumatic injuries.

Microsecond pulses of electric current can induce rapid constriction in arteries and veins. Electrically-induced vasoconstriction could be induced in seconds while blood vessels dilate back to their original size within minutes after stimulation. At higher settings, a blood clotting can take place, leading to complete and permanent occlusion of the vessels. Both regimes can dramatically decrease the bleeding rate from the injured arteries, within seconds. This effect offers a promising approach to non-damaging control of bleeding during surgery, and to efficient hemorrhage arrest in trauma patients.

The effect is non-thermal – the temperature rise during the treatment does not exceed 0.1 oC. We study the mechanisms and dynamics of electrical vasoconstriction, and develop its applications to non-damaging and adjustable control of blood perfusion.

Video illustrating vasoconstriction of the femoral artery and vein induced by a 0.1ms pulse of electric current.

Video illustrating rapid arrest of hemorrhage from an injured femoral artery.