One of the leading causes for cardiovascular mortalities in the world is a pathological hemostatic condition known as thrombosis. While anticoagulant drugs can prevent or delay the obstruction in blood flow, the systemic and local delivery of anticoagulants is difficult and under- and over-dosage can have dire consequences for patients. Another important factor is the critical timing of drug delivery, and this is hard to control when unpredictable cardiovascular health issues arise, such as heart attacks.
A therapeutic solution that would enable the controlled and on-demand delivery of a drug to a patient is therefore of high priority for the medical world. Recently, a thrombin-responsive patch for auto-regulation of blood coagulation was developed by a team of international researchers. This patch provides a feedback-controlled system using thrombin-responsive polymer–drug conjugates. In vivo studies were also completed and the results demonstrated long-term protection from acute pulmonary thromboembolism.