Canon

Biofoam

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A biofoam canister.

Biofoam (short for biomedical foam)[1][2] is a self-sealing, space-filling coagulant and an antimicrobial, tissue-regenerative foam polymer used by the United Nations Space Command as a form of medical first aid. This foam keeps damaged organs in place and helps stop bleeding and hemorrhaging. The medicinal compound is morphophetamine in a polyethyltriphosphate liquid medium dispensed with nitrous oxide. When applied, the polyethyltriphosphate and nitrous oxide mix to create a foaming effect that can encapsulate, disinfect, and numb wounds.[3] Within the Unified Earth Government, biofoam is an OTC-legal product and can be purchased legally "over-the-counter."[2]

Overview[edit]

Contents[edit]

Prior to application, biofoam consists of two substances: nitrous oxide and morphophetamine-infused liquid polyethyltriphosphate,[3] with the latter incorporating MediGel, a product of Optican.[4]

Usage and effects[edit]

Biofoam being applied.

Biofoam is generally contained within a cylindrical canister or bottle with a deployable nozzle used to apply the mixture directly to the affected area of a patient,[5] although it can also be rubbed into a wound rather than injected.[6] When applied and exposed to air, the nitrous oxide and liquid polyethyltriphosphate mix, they produce a foaming reaction.[3] The foam strongly adheres to tissues and simultaneously releases encapsulated medical compounds that advances clotting, disinfects the wound, and eventually numbs pain. After a short duration of time, the foam applied will set and become a semi-rigid, porous mass internally, which forms a hardened skin on regions of the body exposed to air.[2] The standard dosage is 10 centiliters (10cL) or 3.38 fl. oz.[7]

Despite biofoam's numbing properties, for the first few seconds after its application to an open wound, it is known to be very painful,[3] described as feeling like "burning ants crawling around the wound" and "thousands of tiny knives" stabbing the recipient.[6][8] Biofoam does not seem to have this kind of painful reaction when applied to an unwounded area, as during the Battle of Mombasa, Jonathan Doherty was seen spraying a small amount onto his uninjured fingers and does not react in pain. The effects of biofoam are temporary, and after a few hours, it simply breaks down. Therefore, it is normally a form of first aid, used only as a temporary sealant until proper medical attention can be sought.[3] In extremely rare cases, allergic reactions to biofoam have been documented. Edema is a rare side effect of biofoam, caused by excess fluid trapped in the body's tissues.[2]

Applications[edit]

Biofoam is often used as a medical option when there are no medical personnel available. Bottles of biofoam can be found in health packs.[9][10] UNSC medics will use it as a sealing agent during treatment in the field.[3] The MJOLNIR Mark VI,[6] MJOLNIR GEN2,[11] and MJOLNIR GEN3[12] armors contain automatic biofoam injectors, which negate the need for their Spartan wearers to use health packs.

Trivia[edit]

  • Despite the application process being rather painful, when biofoam is applied to Romeo's wound in Halo 3: ODST, he sighs with relief, rather than showing signs of discomfort. This might result from his rigorous ODST training, or be due to his relief that he can breathe properly again.
  • In Halo 3: ODST biofoam is applied by inserting part of the canister into the wound. In Halo: Landfall however, biofoam is applied like shaving cream, which could mean that biofoam works internally and externally.
  • The closest equivalent in the modern world to biofoam is Quikclot combat gauze, which utilizes kaolin nanoparticles impregnated into gauze. It is designed to stop moderate to severe bleeding and stabilize a combat casualty. However, it is not a foam, and as gauze, it must be packed into the wound. An experimental foam developed in late 2012 by DARPA also bears many similarities to biofoam, as it is capable of packing combat wounds and halting internal bleeding.

Gallery[edit]

List of appearances[edit]

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ Halo: New Blood, pages 66-67 (Google Play edition)
  2. ^ a b c d Halo Waypoint: Biofoam
  3. ^ a b c d e f Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 5
  4. ^ Enc22P29, chapter Enc22, page 29
  5. ^ Halo 3: ODST level, Kikowani Station
  6. ^ a b c Halo 2: The Official Strategy Guide
  7. ^ Halo 3: ODST biofoam texture graphic file
  8. ^ Halo: The Flood, page ???
  9. ^ Halo: The Fall of Reach, page 91
  10. ^ Halo: First Strike, page 123 ("William retrieved a can of biofoam from the rover and inserted the tip into the tiny injection port in his armor—pushed it through the skin between his fourth and fifth ribs. He filled his abdominal cavity with the space-filling coagulant/antibacterial/tissue-regenerative polymer.")
  11. ^ Halo 4
  12. ^ Halo: Shadows of Reach, chapter 5