The quest to staunch traumatic blood flow is as old as humanity, so it is surprising how little progress we've made. Now, however, a plant extract that slashes the time it takes to clot a bleeding wound is about to be applied in veterinary clinics.
The idea of a liquid bandage has been thought of before, and some are already on the market. However, those bandages are for superficial cuts to the skin. They won't help with bullet wounds or if an internal organ is cut during surgery.
Joe Landolina is thinking much bigger. His idea is to use plant-based polymers to form a dam to stop bleeding in seconds. It was only when he tried it, however, that he found the polymers' have the capacity to stick together “like Lego blocks” and to activate the blood's natural clotting process to stop even large bleeds astonishingly fast. As Landolina notes, the difference between stopping a wound in five minutes or in thirty seconds can be the gap between life and death.
Winning FDA approval for new medical products is a slow process, even for external use, but Landolina's startup Suneris has found a way to bring in money during what are normally hungry years for new biomedical companies.
The product VetiGel is about to start selling to veterinary clinics, saving beloved animals and getting real-world experience at the same time. “Immediately after application, our gel stimulates the clotting process by physically holding pressure in the damaged blood vessel. The gel then rapidly activates the accumulation of platelets, which bind to the site of the injury to create a platelet mesh. Our gel completes hemostasis by accelerating the binding of the clotting protein, fibrin, to the platelet mesh, resulting in blood coagulation and a stable clot,” Suneris claim.
Natural adhesiveness keeps the gel at the wound without the need for pressure, which is particularly useful with patients who can't understand why they need to stay still. “Our goal is to get this in every ambulance, in every soldier’s belt, and in every mom’s purse,” Landolina told Bloomberg News.
[Hat tip: Bloomberg]