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Has a grad student invented the instant wound cure?

If this is true — and I have to admit more than a little skepticism about this, given the just-so story near the end — it could be the single biggest medical breakthrough in decades. You know how in Mass Effect, characters can take life-threatening damage and after one little button-press, they’re right back in the fight? Bullet wounds, rockets, whatever — just slap on your medi-gel dispenser button and your armor seals up the wound and lets you keep fighting.

A grad student has supposedly taken that Mass Effect equivalent of a magic healing potion, Medi-Gel, and turned it into a reality.

It is a synthetic version of the extracellular matrix (ECM) that holds our cells together and tells them what to do in the event of a bleeding injury, instructing them to get clotting. It also binds together with the damaged ECM cells of the patient, working with them to form a seal over the area of the wound.

The minds behind Veti-Gel (which is, oddly, sometimes referred to as Medi-Gel by the people who made it) are led by one Joe Landolina, a third-year student at NYU. “I have seen [Veti-Gel] close any size of wound that it is applied to,” he said. “As long as you can cover it, it can close it…it looks like, feels like, and acts like skin.”

Landolina has spent the past year conducting preliminary tests of the substance on rats, and claims to have used it to heal wounds several of humanity’s rodent friends. He will publish a full record of his results, and tests comparing Veti-Gel to other on-market coagulants, later this summer. In the meantime, he says he’s keen to get to work testing his invention out in the field with veterinarians and their patients.

Of course, this is just preliminary work, which doubles my skepticism of the story he tells of his friend burning himself on a campfire, applying the gel, and being fully cured the next day. That sounds, frankly, like bullshit, so I really hope there’s some truth to this because it could be a serious game-changer for first responders and paramedics. Hell, half your medical kit will be obviated by this miracle cure.

What do you folks think of the likelihood of this being real?

Update: Said grad student already has a website up. And a company name. This is a bit too fast for such an earth-shattering technology to make the market, and with such claims:

VETI-GEL™ is the ideal solution for immediate hemostasis in difficult situations, such as liver bleeds. Never again risk precious seconds waiting to control dangerous bleeding.

Comments

  1. Aliasalpha says

    Wake me when you can apply it with a holographic omnitool…

    Sounds like a panacea and its preliminary, I’ll reserve my excitement till there’s more information I think. Hell if he wants people to test it, I’ll cut my arm & slap some on if paid enough…

  2. sinned34 says

    I can already think of the perfect test: mixed-martial arts fighters or boxers. If it closes cuts instantly, there need not ever be any more fight stoppages due to severe cuts. Fights will only end from brain or limb damage, the way god intended.

    But yeah, sounds too good to be true.

  3. says

    A revolutionary new medical treatment that could save millions of lives…and the news is broken in an on-line gaming magazine? Yeah, I’m skeptical.

  4. Ann says

    Anyone else found publications from him? He supposedly started the company in 2010 (so says his LinkedIn profile) but I can’t find anything for him in Google scholar or pubmed with regards to wound healing.

    Which would be more reasons to go “hmmm”

  5. says

    Probably not. And I hope that he has already filed his patent, just in case I’m wrong.

    The process goes like this:
    1. Discovery of an “interesting” compound.
    2. Patenting of that compound.
    3. Preclinical work in animals — BTW, he’s already apparently violated several important Federal laws with regard to animal test subjects.
    4. Phase 1 clinical trials in healthy volunteers — to make sure that the compound doesn’t turn you into a porpoise or something.
    5. Phase 2 clinical trials — small scale trials, sometimes against placebo or an already approved alternative.
    6. Phase 3 clinical trials — large scale trials. Two large-scale trials are required for FDA approval of a product.

    If he’s planning to sell this as a “natural” product — well, good luck with that. There are still regulations with regard to product safety. Regulations he’s apparently already violated.

    In short, it’s a wonder his door hasn’t been busted down by Federal marshals.

  6. ibbica says

    Yeah, that gravity-fed blood thing? I’d really need to see the details of their methods before I come close to considering that anything other than a parlour trick with an instant wet adhesive* (hopefully one with a non-irritating solvent). If their adhesive works on dead tissue and blood that’s not coming directly from a live donor, it’s not working through the mechanism the reports mention. Countering anti-coagulants doesn’t make something a coagulant… And ‘starting the healing process’? Sure, just like anything that keeps a wound clean and holds the tissue together. But hey, surgical glues and adhesives are Real Things; it’s absolutely possible to make an adhesive that will successfully bind living tissue, bleeding and all, and if they’ve made one that cures faster than the others out there, that’s great!

    I’ll be curious to see how they test it though (and yeah, I’m completely disregarding that claim of miraculous burn healing. Polysporin under a bandaid has the same effect). Because wound closing in rats? Isn’t typically very difficult at all. A skin incision in most rodents stops bleeding in a matter of seconds, and a vein can close off even faster (especially if you’re actually trying to get a blood sample from it…). If you can hold the skin edges in contact with each other, the wound can close in minutes. They’ll need to find a lab that knows what they’re doing (and has the protocols to allow them to do it…) to show what they want to show. But hey, good luck to them – the more inexpensive fast-acting surgical adhesives we have available, the better :)

    *Actually, it sounds like it’s a type of epoxy:
    http://www.poly.edu/press-release/2011/04/11/winning-student-inventors-tackle-medical-challenges

  7. Tsu Dho Nimh says

    Landolina is currently designing tests to compare Veti-Gel to those rival treatments and is looking for an independent researcher to perform the evaluation. He hopes to have the results this summer. Landolina is also looking to start testing Veti-Gel with veterinarians.

    Good luck getting it through the IRB that fast!

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