Superfast Clotting Agent Could Save Lives

A graduate from Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU) has invented a plant-based gel that can stop bleeding and seal serious wounds in just 15 seconds, and hopes his invention will soon be used by the military, paramedics and even vets to save lives.

VetiGel works by using a plant-based haemophilic polymer made from polysaccharides that grab onto the blood and form a mesh that seals over the wound, without any need to apply pressure.

In a medical emergency, a first responder could simply apply the gel from a syringe-shaped applicator with no preparation required, and the bleeding will stop, which means that this could be a viable replacement for plasters and bandages today.

The idea of a liquid bandage has been thought of before, and some are already on the market. However, those bandages are for superficial cuts to the skin. They won’t help with bullet wounds or if an internal organ is cut during surgery.

The gel is the brainchild of Joe Landolina, 21, the founder and CEO of Suneris, who came up with the concept when he was just 17 in 2010.

“I was always interested in science and my grandfather owned a winery, so from a really young age I learned how to work in a chemistry lab and had a love for chemistry.”

“As I was playing around, I stumbled upon two polymers that when you mix them together, they become a solid mass. That was the Eureka moment for me.”

Image credit: Juan de Dios Santander Vela

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How Green Glowing Veins Could Make Blood Donation Easier…

The world faces a shortage of blood for lifesaving transfusions, and if you’ve ever given blood, you have likely experienced the discomfort of having a nurse struggle to find your vein. Now, however, a device has been created that shows a glowing map of our veins could make the whole process a lot easier, and trials of the technology have already begun in Australia.

The technology works by beaming harmless near-infrared light at your arm. Our veins contain a lot of deoxygenated haemoglobin, and because this is absorbed by infrared light, it creates an image of exactly where your veins are under the skin.

Importantly, the device can be used anywhere. It’s already used widely in hospitals and pathology clinics around the world to make it easier for patients to have blood taken, but now it’s also going to help those willing to donate blood.

While this technology is already used globally in clinical settings to assist practitioners in taking blood samples, it’s now being trialled on blood donors in Sydney by the Australian Red Cross. It’s hoped that reducing anxiety by quickly and easily finding veins without the painful prodding will make donors more likely to return. 300 first time donors and 600 returning donors between the ages of 18-35 will be included in the trial.

The Australian Red Cross is the first blood bank service in the world to trial this technology, and has already started using it in its Sydney clinics.

Watch the video of the device in action here - New Technology for the Blood Service

Image credit: Australian Red Cross