Uncontrolled hemorrhage is a leading cause of potentially preventable death. The most effective commercial hemostatic products employ layered clays. Due to safety concerns only a product containing kaolin is currently recommended by the U. S. Department of Defense. A problem related to layered clays, including kaolin, is their cytotoxicity. Also, material left in the wound can lead to thrombosis and other adverse effects. Recently, it has been shown that pure silica mesocellular foams (MCF) with cell window sizes >20 nm are effective in promoting blood clotting. Here, we tested the potency and cytotoxicity of layered clays in comparison to MCF with a cell window size of 26 nm (MCF-26) in vitro. The results showed that the potencies of MCF-26 and layered clays in promoting clotting were comparable. Effects on cell viability were assessed with relevant primary human cell types. The cytotoxic effects of all compounds were cell type-specific and most sensitive were endothelial cells. The IC50 values of MCF-26 were in the mg ml−1 range and its cytotoxicity was ∼1–2 orders of magnitude lower than the cytotoxicity of layered clays. Further, MCF-26 did not adhere strongly to cell surfaces and was not taken up by cells as observed for the layered clays. This suggests that it would be easier to remove MCF-26 from wounds. Altogether, the results suggest that MCF-26 would be effective and safer than currently used hemostatic agents.
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