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.