College student invents gel that halts bleeding

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Joe Landolina may have invented a cure for bleeding. He claims that his creation, a substance called Veti-Gel, jump-starts the clotting and healing process so quickly that even wounds to internal organs or major arteries are able to close up instantaneously. And Joe has accomplished all this by his third year of college at NYU.

Veti-Gel (also sometimes called Medi-Gel) is a synthetic form of the extracellular matrix, or ECM, the substance that forms a kind of scaffolding in the body that holds cells together and also triggers the clotting process if there is an injury. In tests on rats, Landolina was able to close up a slice into the liver and a puncture of the carotid artery. (He plans to publish the results in about two months.)

Plants naturally produce a material similar to the human extracellular matrix, but Landolina improves the process by using genetically modified plants to create Veti-Gel. Other wound treatments, such as collagen, come from animals, he said. And some rival treatments require refrigeration. Veti-Gel can be kept in packets or tubes at any temperature from 33 degrees to about 90 degrees Fahrenheit (1 degree to 32 degrees Celsius).

If Veti-Gel works as well as claimed, it could rival other products designed to close wounds. The U.S. military typically uses QuikClot, gauze soaked in kaolin, a material that activates platelets to form a clot. But it requires several minutes of applying pressure. Hospitals typically use Floseal, a bovine gelatin containing human thrombin, the enzyme that produces fibrin for clotting.

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