A college student in New York has invented a medical marvel straight out of a science fiction novel: A gel that can be applied to wounds to instantly stop bleeding.
It’s called Veti-Gel, and will be available for veterinary practices to use as early as this summer. Joe Landolina, 20, a junior at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University, began working on his invention as a freshman in college. He had pitched the idea at an NYU business competition and beat out MBA and PhD candidates to win the top prize.
“There’s really no way to quickly stop bleeding expect to hold lots of gauze on a wound,” Landolina told the New York Post. “I thought if you could pour this gel on the wound, it would solidify and stop the bleeding.”
Landolina said he was able to develop the miracle gel largely through the process of trial and error, testing it on rats and slabs of pork loin to develop a prototype.
“Naiveté really helped us move forward,” Landolina told USA Today. “As a freshman, if I knew how hard the process would be I don’t think I would’ve stuck through it. Not knowing what would happen next helped us push through it.”
Veti-Gel is a synthetic form of the extracellular matrix (ECM), which is the part of body tissue that holds cells together and activates the blood clotting process when there is an injury, according to TechNewsDaily. When Veti-Gel is applied to a wound, it forms a cover that mimics skin, thereby eliminating the need to apply pressure to staunch the bleeding and closing the wound much more quickly than the body could do on its own.
Through his tests, Landolina discovered he was able to stop both internal and external bleeding, USA Today reported. Although Veti-Gel has successfully closed rats’ liver and carotid arteries, Landolina said further tests will be needed before it can be distributed for use on humans.
If Veti-Gel is proven to be safe for people, Landolina may have an eager customer in the U.S. military. For servicemembers, the ability to quickly stop bleeding can mean the difference between life and death.
“We haven’t entered formal talks, but I’ve been talking to a few officials in the military who really like the product,” Landolina told Humans Invent. “I’ve spoken to DARPA [Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency] about it. We’re definitely looking at the military as one of our main customers.”
In the meantime, Landolina’s miracle gel will be assisting veterinarians around the country in their quest to help animals and give them the best possible care.