As a freshman, Joe Landolina invented a gel that instantly stops mass internal and external bleeding
New York University junior Joe Landolina, 20, has invented a gel that instantly stops mass internal and external bleeding.
Available for veterinary practices this summer, Landolina first pitched the concept in 2011 as the sole freshman in a NYU business competition against MBA and PhD candidates. He won.
Connective plant and synthetic tissue that grow and hold organisms’ structure, called the extracellular matrix (ECM), compose Veti-Gel. Such a configuration solidifies and sticks blood platelets together to close and begin healing wounds without applying pressure, Landolina says.
Landolina says he didn’t know how the process would work to create the gel, called Veti-Gel. But this perspective allowed him to develop Veti-Gel faster and in an unconventional order, says Marisa Tricarico, 30, an associate at the NYU Innovation Venture Fund.
“Naiveté really helped us move forward,” Landolina says. “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.”
It was a gradual research process based on trial and error. Unlike scientists who have attempted and failed to replicate the human ECM, Landolina developed cells that are similar to the body’s ECM, but not an exact match.
This approximation hasn’t hindered the success of Veti-Gel — there’s immediate recognition. But Landolina says he doesn’t know why.
“It’s very difficult to isolate exactly how it works,” Landolina says. “You can isolate that this is the best mechanism to be an immediate solution to trauma care.”
Veti-Gel has successfully closed wounds to rats’ liver and carotid arteries, but further tests are necessary for FDA approval and distribution for humans, Landolina says. For example, it remains unclear whether the gel is safe to leave in the body for extended time periods.
Cardiovascular surgeon Dr. Herbert Dardik, based in Englewood, N.J., will supervise these additional tests on larger animals.
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