Transforming Battlefield Trauma Care: Assessing the Universal Combat Matrix in Preclinical Models of Burns, Junctional Hemorrhage, and Non-Compressible Torso Hemorrhage

A.M. Jorgensen, F. Marini, T. Shupe, J. Rall., J. Radowsky, L. Paladino, W.L. Hickerson
SiOxMed, LLC,
United States

Keywords: universal combat matrix (UCM), battlefield trauma, preclinical animal studies, hemostasis efficacy, military medical capabilities, burns, junctional hemorrhage, non-compressible torso hemorrhage


Introduction: Future battlefield scenarios demand combat units to develop intrinsic capabilities for managing complex medical challenges, moving away from reliance on current advantages for rapid evacuation during the "Golden Hour" doctrine. SiOxMed, LLC addresses this need with a lightweight, multi-modal universal combat matrix (UCM). The UCM, a silicon-based polymer matrix, with minimal training requirements and ultra-lightweight design, offers a promising solution for improved outcomes in complex battlefield trauma. This abstract presents data from preclinical animal studies assessing UCM efficacy in full-thickness burns, junctional hemorrhage, and non-compressible torso hemorrhage. Methods: The Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine conducted a full-thickness burns study in swine. UCM was applied to debrided wounds 24 hours post full thickness burn injury and then followed over 28 days. Tissue samples underwent systematic analysis for epidermal formation, epithelialization, dermal organization, and extracellular matrix composition. The 59th Medical Wing of the Air Force conducted a junctional hemorrhage study. Femoral arteries were isolated, and hemorrhagic wounds were treated with either UCM or QuikClot Combat Gauze (QCG) (n=10 per group) following a 45-second free bleed. Analyses included survival rates, hemostasis efficacy, blood loss quantification, and femoral artery patency by angiography after a 60-minute observation. SiOxMed conducted a non-compressible torso hemorrhage study on Grade IV liver injuries in swine treated with UCM (n=3). Subjects were then followed over a 48-hour survival period post-anesthesia. Subsequent histological assessments evaluated the hemorrhagic interface and tissue. Results: UCM-treated burn wounds displayed reduced immune cell presence over the initial 11 days with decreased T-cells (CD4+, CD8+) and monocytes (CD68+) in the dermis and epidermis compared to controls. Ki-67 expression significantly increased, and ECM remodeling accelerated through day 11 in SBP-treated wounds. Survival rates when treating junctional hemorrhage were comparable between groups (80% UCM, 90% QCG, n=10, p=0.588), with no significant difference in total blood loss (526 ± 276g vs. 653 ± 342g, p=0.375). Femoral artery patency rates on angiography following ipsilateral leg manipulations were similar (50% HM, 33% QCG, p=0.637), and no contrast extravasation occurred in UCM-treated wounds (0% HM, 33% QCG, p=0.206). There was 100% survival after 48-hours in UCM treated non-compressible torso hemorrhage (average survival time, 48.0 hours ± 0.0, n=3). Visual inspection on necropsy revealed no hemorrhage in the abdomen and histological assessment demonstrated aligned red blood cells and fibrin layers at the hemorrhagic interface. Masson's Trichrome staining demonstrated a reactivity and regeneration 48 hours post-injury. Conclusions: The Universal Combat Matrix (UCM) emerges as a highly effective solution for burns, junctional hemorrhage, and non-compressible torso hemorrhage. The UCM's remarkable versatility and user-friendly design holds immense promise for enhancing survival and improving outcomes in the challenging landscape of complex battlefield trauma. Notably, the ease of use inherent in UCM has the transformative potential to empower every soldier, enabling them to apply life-saving technology in austere environments. This groundbreaking innovation signifies more than a solution; it represents a profound opportunity to save lives on the battlefield, marking a significant stride toward advancing military medical capabilities.