20th March 2013
The gel that stops bleeding instantly
By Jack Millner

Veti-Gel could prove life saving in war zones.

All-purpose healing gels familiar to fans of futuristic video games and movies could be about to make the transition from sci-fi fantasy to real-world medical tool thanks to a New York University student who has invented a gel that can instantly halt bleeding in even the most serious of wounds.

Veti-Gel, the name chosen by NYU student Joe Landolina uses plant polymers to rapidly solidify when applied to open wounds, and by a bizarre coincidence was initially being developed under the name Medi-Gel, the name of a fictional healing gel from the Mass Effect video game series with almost identical properties.

Humans Invent spoke to Joe Landolina about the development of Veti-Gel, and how in just a few years he went from high-school science geek to possibly securing a deal with the US military.

Stops bleeding

“In all of our tests we found we were able to immediately stop bleeding,” says Landolina. “Your skin has this thing called the extracellular matrix,” he explains. “It’s kind of a mesh of molecules and sugars and protein that holds your cells in place.”

Landolina synthesises his own extracellular matrix (ECM) using plant polymers, which can form a liquid when broken up into pieces. He says, “So it goes into the wound and the pieces of the synthetic ECM in the gel will recognise the pieces of the real ECM in the wound and they’ll link together. It will re-assemble into something that looks like, feels like and acts like skin.”

In all of our tests we found we were able to immediately stop bleeding

If Veti-Gel works as well as Landolina claims, it would be of obvious interest to the military, where a quick response to severe bleeding can make the difference between life and death. Current blood-clotting agents still require a medic to apply pressure, and take up to three minutes to take effect.

“We haven’t entered formal talks, but I’ve been talking to a few officials in the military who really like the product,” says Landolina. “I’ve spoken to DARPA about it. We’re definitely looking at the military as one of our main customers,” he adds.

Interestingly, Veti-Gel doesn’t just stop bleeding but seems to initiate the healing process. “It works in three ways,” says Landolina. “The first way is it works as a tissue adhesive,” he explains. “It actually holds its own pressure onto the wound so you don’t have to do it. Secondly, when it touches the blood, it does something called activating Factor 12.”

This activates fibrin, which is the polymer you need to make a blood clot, explains Landolina. “Finally, it activates platelet cells.” The gel causes these to bind to the fibrin, causing a tight seal. Landolina says the speed at which this process happens is what triggers the healing process. “We don’t have all the testing to back it up yet – but it should allow it to heal faster over time,” he says.

Tissue engineering

Landolina was interested in science from a young age, and having a vineyard in the family gave him access to a lab when he was a child.

He says, “I was always very interested in the medical field since before I was in high-school. My family had a winery in upstate New York, so we had chemistry labs there and I used to be able to experiment around. I learned the ropes very early, my grandfather taught me everything – he was a wine maker and a chemist.”

Landolina laid the foundations for his later work while still in high school: “I did summer programs at Columbia University. While I was there I learnt how to do tissue engineering, which really got me interested in the bioengineering side of medicine.”

But it was after he graduated from high school that Landolina started to attract attention with Veti-Gel. Back in 2011, he entered two college competitions with his business partner Isaac Miller, and it was their success in those competitions that led to the formation of their company, Suneris, Inc.

Landolina says, “We ended up getting second place at the business school which is where [Isaac Miller] was from and we took first place at the engineering school which is where I was from. And with that we got so much interest that we decided to keep going and turn it into a real company.”

Platform technology

The past two years have seen Landolina and Miller develop their company and their product, now working under the supervision of cardiovascular surgeon Dr Herbert Dardik at Englewood Hospital in New Jersey. Landolina is also currently studying for a bachelor’s degree in biomolecular and chemical engineering and a masters in biomedical engineering simultaneously. Needless to say, the future looks promising for Joe Landolina and his miracle healing gel.

We’re definitely looking at the military as one of our main customers

He says, “The gel is what we call a platform technology, it’s very biocompatible – your body recognises it, and you can mix just about anything into it. We’re doing tests to see if we can actually make it work for healing wounds that won’t heal by adding in therapeutics or drugs; you can put antibiotics into it, you can put just about anything you want into it.”

Landolina has begun the process of securing approval from the US Food and Drug Administration. He says, “The gel, once it gets FDA approval, has a huge amount of ramifications, not only having something that can be available to every medic, so that you can immediately stop traumatic bleeding, but also something surgeons use in the operating room, so that if you have some bleeding that arises on the operating table you don’t lose the patient.”

But Landolina also envisages more everyday uses for Veti-Gel: “Every mother has something in their purse, just so that if their kid cuts themself, you can slap it on, and it takes the place of a liquid bandage. All the way to care of the elderly where you have bed sores, you can put this on – hopefully it can work on healing the ulcers. We’re just trying to work out where it fits into the grand scheme of things.”

Clinical trials will begin around the same time as Veti-Gel is released for the military, Landolina says, which may take up to a year and a half. But until then, you’ll just have to settle for a plaster and a couple of paracetamol.

For more information go to Suneris, Inc.


Image credit: Oksana Bratanova (Shutter Stock)


 

The End
  • Todd

    Does it look to anyone else like frames are dropped at 15s?

    • Joe

      I’m not seeing it… I suppose it’s possible, but given the claims of the inventor and the officials (so they claim) that are interested in the product, it seems unlikely that the video would be manipulated.

      • Todd

        Look at the “quadrant” below and to the right of the syringe. The heavy blood there just kind of disappears, instead of flowing away.

        But I agree: Even if they cut 2s of video out there, it’s still darned impressive … and then why doctor it?

        I suppose if it weren’t so impressive, I wouldn’t be as skeptical. :-)

        • mateo

          Actually looks like automatic exposure correction as the camera adjusts to their arm occupping more of the frame

        • Michael De Keyser

          Ain’t it the meat that is actually absorbing some blood ?

  • Joe

    He couldnt find anyone better than the US military to sell it to? Ugghh.

    • http://twitter.com/cshotton Chuck Shotton

      You should be ashamed of yourself. People who risk their lives so you can post drivel like that on the internet are the MOST deserving of a technology like this that could prevent needless casualties. Who are you to apply your twisted morals in such a way?

      • Matthew Saunier

        Actually, these days they more or less risk their lives to take away my right to post drivel on the Internet, but thanks for playing.

      • http://www.facebook.com/yogibimbi Jörg Löhken

        look who is talking about twisted morals. Giving a damn about somebody bleeding to death in an accident but making sure state-sanctioned killing machines get back to killing each other quicker in wars of more than questionable political dimensions. Please show me Iraq’s weapons of mass distruction, then you may continue riding your moral high horse. Needless casualties my a… Most casualties in wars are needless because most wars are fought for more than questionable reasons.

    • Box of Cotton Swabs

      I’m sure they can. As the giant pull quote in the middle of the article says, the military is being looked at as one of their main customers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/yogibimbi Jörg Löhken

    Really looks like a great product, but what says more about the sorry state of affairs on this planet than anything else is the fact that the military are the ones to call first dibs on it and who it is marketed to; I mean, it seems to be more important to patch up soldiers on the battlefield, so that they can recommence killing each other asap, rather than accident victims so they don’t die on the way to hospital. Hell, this could even replace band aids or liquid bandages with a much better solution or I could use it on my buttocks after a heavy day of cycling. Beats having blood in the cycling pants for the first 3 days of a tour.
    I guess, Joe Landolina, apart from spending much of his time in the lab of the vinery, spend the rest of his life playing Mass Effect, Doom or any other shoot’em-up. We definitely need more volunteer paramedics amongst the kiddies these days.

    • Michael De Keyser

      US Military is the most obvious big customer for now, but if you read the post a bit less carelessly you’d see he already has many idea for Vedi-Gel going to very day-to-day uses:

      - But Landolina also envisages more everyday uses for Veti-Gel: “Every mother has something in their purse, just so that if their kid cuts themself, you can slap it on, and it takes the place of a liquid bandage. All the way to care of the elderly where you have bed sores, you can put this on – hopefully it can work on healing the ulcers. We’re just trying to work out where it fits into the grand scheme of things.”

      • http://www.facebook.com/PsyberGothykByohakka Psyber Gothyk Byohakka

        Just because he says he wants to use it for other things, doesn’t mean it will be used for other things. If he sells it to the military, he could sell all rights/patents, to the military, and have no more control on who gets to use it.

      • http://www.facebook.com/yogibimbi Jörg Löhken

        I actually read that part, and it sounds more like an afterthought of Landolina’s, as a way to silence those who bring up his military preference. “Bed sores, liquid bandage for infants” – oh, rly? He couldn’t even get himself to think of emergency services, people in surgery etc.? Shows he didn’t spend more than 10 seconds of brain-time on that sentence.

        • Yippeekiyay

          Remember that time in the article where HE MENTIONED IT’S POSSIBLE USES IN SURGERY?

          But yeah, no, I’m sure you read the whole article.

          Landolina has begun the process of securing approval from the US Food and Drug Administration. He says, “The gel, once it gets FDA approval, has a huge amount of ramifications, not only having something that can be available to every medic, so that you can immediately stop traumatic bleeding, but also something surgeons use in the operating room, so that if you have some bleeding that arises on the operating table you don’t lose the patient.”

          “every medic” means EVERY MEDIC. Not just military. If it was ONLY going to the military, why bother with FDA approval?

          So were you just waiting around for something to be outraged about?

          • Yippeekiyay

            also please forgive the “it’s” instead of its.

          • http://www.facebook.com/yogibimbi Jörg Löhken

            forgiven;-)

          • http://www.facebook.com/yogibimbi Jörg Löhken

            Thanks for informing me that I was outraged. I wasn’t quite aware of that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Fredlock-Dobbs/100002978872892 Fredlock Dobbs

    I dont understand why the author adds the disingenuous “wait for paracetemol and plaster” line. Why not mention the existence of the myriad other commonly used hemostatic agents like microfibular collagen, chitosan, Zeolite, Quick-Clot, Hem Con…..etc etc.

  • Abc

    Why not selling it to the russian army ?

    I guess they would pay as much as the us army if not even more.

  • https://plus.google.com/103843228110213835433 J. C. Salomon

    Bah. He should have added Thiotimoline to the gel so it would stop bleeding before being applied to the wound.

  • Felipe Andrade

    If this proves itself as effective as promised, a Nobel prize would be just another day at the office for these guys.

  • Lisa

    This isn’t new. There is already several products out on the market like this. I recently used on for my husband. I think the name was Celox. It came in powder, gauze and nose- bleed forms, does not heat up and has already been used by the military for years to stop arterial bleeding. It is also being used for veterinary use.

  • disqus_NILnNmhh8V

    boxers in boxing matches

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