We might not have flying cars in the future, but we could be able to save countless lives with this new high-tech, blood-clotting bandage. Seriously. Suneris, a small biotech company in Brooklyn, is developing VetiGel, a blood-clotting substance that can staunch wounds in under 30 seconds. If the scientists at Suneris are successful, the powerful gel may one day be life-changing tool for soldiers, paramedics, doctors, teachers — everyone, really.
Bloomberg Television reporter Sam Grobart visited the Suneris lab recently to speak with the company's co-founder, Joe Landolina, and get the lowdown on VetiGel. Landolina explained that while a freshman at New York University — just four years ago! — he had an idea to use plant-based polymers to stop a bleeding wound. What he soon discovered was that these polymers staunched bleeding at a ridiculous speed, because they were able to interact with tissue and cause the platelets to stick together.
As Suneris explains on its website:
The gel activates blood's natural clotting process and is made with biocompatible components that can be absorbed directly into the body. By reassembling onto a wound site, VETIGEL mimics the body’s extracellular matrix and accelerates the production of fibrin, which enables the body to clot rapidly.
So, when the gel is applied to a traumatic wound, it can halt the bleeding in just 20 seconds. Omar Ahmad, Suneris vice president of engineering, tells Grobart that, so far, there's nothing out there in the medical world that works this quickly or effectively:
Let's say there was a soldier who was shot on the battlefield. He has three minutes to live [and] he's bleeding out of his femoral artery. The next leading competitor can stop a bleed in, say, five to 10 minutes, but he only has three minutes. You apply this — 15 seconds time. You can ensure that not only will the bleeding stop, but it'll remain stopped.
With its medical technology sound, the next step for the company is to get a market-ready sample of VetiGel approved by the FDA. Currently, VetiGel is only being used in veterinarian facilities for clinical evaluation — the test for application in the real world.
Landolini is confident his product will one day take over the world — in a good way — telling Grobart:
Our goal is to get this [VetiGel] in every ambulance, in every soldier's belt and in every mom's purse. Really, being in every mom's purse means having a product that is easy enough to be used by just about everybody.
Image: screenshot/YouTube, Vetigel