"In all of our tests we found we were able to immediately stop bleeding," says Landolina. "Your skin has this thing called the extracellular matrix," he explains. "It's kind of a mesh of molecules and sugars and protein that holds your cells in place."
Landolina synthesises his own extracellular matrix (ECM) using plant polymers, which can form a liquid when broken up into pieces. He says, "So it goes into the wound and the pieces of the synthetic ECM in the gel will recognise the pieces of the real ECM in the wound and they'll link together. It will re-assemble into something that looks like, feels like and acts like skin."
Interestingly, Veti-Gel doesn't just stop bleeding but seems to initiate the healing process. "It works in three ways," says Landolina. "The first way is it works as a tissue adhesive," he explains. "It actually holds its own pressure onto the wound so you don't have to do it. Secondly, when it touches the blood, it does something called activating Factor 12."
This activates fibrin, which is the polymer you need to make a blood clot, explains Landolina. "Finally, it activates platelet cells." The gel causes these to bind to the fibrin, causing a tight seal. Landolina says the speed at which this process happens is what triggers the healing process. "We don't have all the testing to back it up yet -- but it should allow it to heal faster over time," he says.
He says, "The gel is what we call a platform technology, it's very biocompatible -- your body recognises it, and you can mix just about anything into it. We're doing tests to see if we can actually make it work for healing wounds that won't heal by adding in therapeutics or drugs; you can put antibiotics into it, you can put just about anything you want into it."