A remarkable plant-based material that is similar to the extracellular matrix used in human bodies has been developed and tested. It stops bleeding and closes wounds on contact, promoting healing as it does so.
(Veti-Gel stops bleeding! video)
Joe Landolina may have invented a cure for bleeding. He claims that his creation, a substance called Veti-Gel, jump-starts the clotting and healing process so quickly that even wounds to internal organs or major arteries are able to close up instantaneously. And Joe has accomplished all this by his third year of college at NYU.
"It instantly tells the body, 'OK, stop the bleeding,' but also it starts the healing process," said Landolina.
Veti-Gel (also sometimes called Medi-Gel) is a synthetic form of the extracellular matrix, or ECM, the substance that forms a kind of scaffolding in the body that holds cells together and also triggers the clotting process if there is an injury. In tests on rats, Landolina was able to close up a slice into the liver and a puncture of the carotid artery. (He plans to publish the results in about two months.)
Plants naturally produce a material similar to the human extracellular matrix, but Landolina improves the process by using genetically modified plants to create Veti-Gel. Other wound treatments, such as collagen, come from animals, he said. And some rival treatments require refrigeration. Veti-Gel can be kept in packets or tubes at any temperature from 33 degrees to about 90 degrees Fahrenheit (1 degree to 32 degrees Celsius).
SF fans may recall the Gobathian from Clifford Simak's beautiful 1961 novel Time is the Simplest Thing. It's an alien medical technology with amazing wound healing properties:
"Gobathian? That was what you used? That was why he was all wrapped up?"
"He was broken," said the doctor. "Like a toy someone had thrown on the floor and stepped on. What you do you know about gobathian?" he asked.
"I've heard of it," said Blaine.
"An alien drug," the doctor said. "Used by an insect race. A warring insect race. And it's done miracles. It can patch up a smashed and broken body..."