Nosebleeds can last for hours, but a bandage that has been infused with aluminosilicate nanoparticles--just roll it up and jam it in your nose--can stop them almost immediately. The inorganic specks, which are derived from kaolin clay, trigger the body's natural clotting process. For years doctors have used the same substance to test their patients' blood-clotting ability.
Two chemists at the University of California at Santa Barbara, Sarah Baker and April Sawvel, realized that the material could be used to halt severe bleeding. Their mentor, Galen Stucky, filed a patent and worked with Z-Medica to develop a product that can save wounded soldiers. The technology just hit the civilian market this year.