Published on July 8th, 2015 | by Brett Harris

Joe Landolina, Age 17: Invented Remarkable Way to Stop Bleeding

(Business Insider) — Imagine this: You’re gushing blood. Nothing seems to make it stop. Then you apply a gel to your wound, and the bleeding stops within seconds. You’re healed in minutes.

This is the premise of VetiGel, an algae-based polymer created by Joe Landolina — a 22 year-old who invented the product when he was just 17.

Landolina is now the cofounder and CEO of Suneris, a biotech company that manufactures the gel. Suneris announced last week that it would begin to ship VetiGel to veterinarians later this summer. Humans won’t be far behind.

When injected into a wound site, the gel can form a clot within 12 seconds and permanently heal the wound within minutes, Landolina says.

“The fastest piece of equipment we have measures every 12 seconds,” Landolina tells Business Insider. “So we know that it happens in less than 12 seconds.”

The science that makes this all possible is surprisingly basic.

Each batch of gel begins as algae, which is made up of tiny individual polymers. If you break those polymers down into even tinier pieces, “kind of like Lego blocks,” Landolina says, you can put them into the gel and inject that gel into a wound site.

Once it hits the damaged tissue, whether it’s open skin or a biopsied soft organ — livers, kidneys, spleens — the gel instantly forms a mesh-like structure.

“What that means, on the one hand, is that the gel will make a very strong adhesive that holds the wound together,” Landolina says. “But on the other hand, that mesh acts as a scaffold to help the body produce fibrin at the wound’s surface.”

Fibrin helps repair tissue over the long-term. It’s what allows VetiGel not only to work fast in sealing leaks, but to actually heal the skin. Within a few minutes of application, the gel can be safely removed.

From classroom to company

As fast-acting as VetiGel is, its inventor may be faster.

Landolina invented an early version of the gel out of his grandfather’s lab. He was still in high school.

Keep Reading → (Business Insider)

Read More → (NYU Alumni Magazine)


Share Your Thoughts in the Comment Section!

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Photo courtesy of TEDxCibeles and Flickr Creative Commons.


About the Author

is co-founder of and co-author of Do Hard Things, along with his twin brother, Alex. He is married to his best friend, Ana, who blogs at He is the founder of the Young Writers Workshop — an ongoing coaching program for serious writers.

  • Audrey French

    This has to be one of the coolest stories I’ve ever seen! Talk about not wasting any time!

  • MimeforJesus

    Whoa, this is amazing! I hadn’t thought that would work… Time to reopen my human anatomy book and see how this could happen! This is so cool…

    • Audrey French

      I know! Makes me want to do anatomy all over again!

  • Guitar with Arms

    That’s impressive…..I wonder how far away it is from common use.

    • AnnaGrace

      I don’t know but I hope not too far…I have an allergy to the sticky stuff on bandaids so this would help a lot.

      • Chloe

        In the rest of the Business Insider article, it said that “[Landolina] forecasts receiving FDA approval within the year for testing on human wounds. If all goes according to plan, VetiGel will first help military personnel and EMTs treat traumatic injuries. Then it will enter operating rooms and, finally, individual homes.”

  • This is pretty incredible!! I’m proud of this guy for using his skills to help save lives.

  • Wow. Wow. Wow. This guy is brilliant! :) And MORE proof teens can be smart too!! :)

  • Danny

    That’s pretty awesome!

  • Haylie

    That is outstanding! What a great use of brilliance. That just might save lives in the future!

  • So cool! This medical nerd is geeking out right now. :) I wonder how much it costs.

    • I read somewhere that it costs $130 for five syringes. I’m not sure how much it costs to produce.

      • Aubrie Gotcher

        That’s not bad for what it is!

  • Christina

    That is awesome!

  • It sounds great that a boy could make a gel that stops you from bleeding, but it sounds like it will be costly for me!

    • Yeah I will be too costly for you Nathan! Nice new profile pic!

      • Yeah Daniel it would be to costly for you too! Hey Dan you should change your picture it’s a bit old lol!

        • Hey do we really have to have a conversation online when we are in the same room?

          • Yeah I know, yeah let’s not talk online!

          • Tatiana

            You two are as bad as me and my brother! Lol


  • Tatiana

    Wow! That is nothing short of amazing!

  • Incredible!!! That gel sounds awesome!

  • Sam G

    Yet another example of the potential we have. Let’s not waste it.

  • Josiah J.

    Technology can be so cool…

  • Spitfire

    That’s awesome!

  • Nathan

    This could help so many people in the future! What an awesome invention!

  • Stella K. Cooke

    that is SO amazingly awesome!

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