His work was in vein but not in vain.
A Brooklyn Heights wunderkind has invented a gel that stops bleeding animal wounds in seconds, and critter clinicians say they can’t wait to start sealing up some seals.
“Vets I’ve talked to are very excited to start using it,” said Dr. Jason Berg, a veterinary and neurology specialist at Yonkers animal hospital the Animal Specialty Center. “It’s going to save a lot of lives.”
Twenty-two-year-old Joe Landolina created his new product Vetigel while studying at Downtown’s New York University Polytechnical School of Engineering, where he graduated with a master’s degree in biomedical engineering last year at age 21. The whiz kid spent his student years tinkering with algae in the school’s lab to create a goop that solidifies when it comes into contact with blood, instantly sealing up lacerations and stopping severe bleeding in under 12 seconds, he said.
Berg, who had a chance to test the product on his furry friends before it hits the market this week, says it works like a charm, rapidly clotting gushing veins and arteries, and keeping them shut during surgery.
“I was very impressed,” said Berg. “It was easy to apply and it worked quickly. It was really amazing.”
Landolina and his Park Slope biotechnology company Suneris officially launched Vetigel with a shindig at Prospect Park Zoo last Friday, and the plasma prodigy says he is now anticipating a flood of orders from vets around the country. Until now, animal doctors have been stopping their patients’ bleeding by applying pressure to wounds or clamping off arteries — but there had to be a better way, they told him.
“We spoke to about 300 vets, and all of them said there was a huge need and they would buy our product,” said Landolina.
Vetigel is currently only approved for use on animals, but Landolina says he wants to start sealing up humans, too. Suneris is opening a new facility where it will begin the production of a similar product for homo sapiens, which Landolina is hoping to get approved by the Food and Drug Administration within a year.
A gel for people will require a slightly different formulation and also a different application method — Vetigel comes in little syringes for use on small animals, which isn’t very practical for human-sized wounds, he said.
“You can’t give a whole bunch of small syringes to a military medic and expect people to use it well under duress,” said Landolina. “We’re developing something easier to use in a traumatic situation.”