Hirudo Medicinales Research

Mark Sullivan conducted a private, self funded research project involving the medical leech Hirudo Medicinales. The research consisted of the life cycle, propagation, population expansion, selective breeding, feeding improvements, host research, environment improvement, harvesting, and leech placement/migration reduction on patients. The isolation of anticoagulants, antibiotics and anesthetic was performed utilizing flow cytometry, mass spectrometry and stained photomicrography. A Warfarin/Coumadin analog was isolated and concentrated. A commercial production methodology was established for the treatment of deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism or ischemic cerebrovascular accidents.

The research also involved the use in transplant, emergency, dermatology and general surgery. Positive results were obtained for reattachment of severed phalanges, avulsed flaps and auricle.

Several pharmacological applications were indicated and specific drug analogues were developed.