Posted July 25th, 2014
Anyone who has ever met Joe Landolina has known he was going places. What they might not have predicted, however, was that those places would one day include Madrid, Spain, where he was invited to speak in March 2014 at a TEDx event. Held under the auspices of the main TED organization, TEDx talks are organized independently by local groups.
Landolina, the creator of a gel that can instantly stop traumatic bleeding, gave a talk entitled “Revolutionizing the Healing,” which touched upon the research that had led to his invention and the ways in which it could transform wound treatment. In addition to being a brilliant bioengineer, Landolina, now just 21 years old, proved himself to be a compelling speaker. “Imagine you’re a soldier on the battlefield,” he told his rapt audience, painting a terrifying picture of a GI whose femoral artery has been severed badly enough to kill him within three minutes. The products already on the market work—but only within five minutes—too late for a person suffering an injury this severe. On the other hand, Landolina’s product, currently marketed under the name Veti-Gel, stops bleeding within seconds, thanks to its ability to activate three methods of hemostasis simultaneously: holding in its own pressure, activating the body’s platelets, and forming a fibrin clot, all on the wound surface.
Landolina was swarmed with questions after the talk and says he found the experience gratifying and fascinating. “Everyone attending had to apply for a ticket,” he explains. “The audience ended up being a great mixture of people, including scientists, artists, and entrepreneurs, and their questions touched on a wide range of topics like the technology behind Veti-Gel and what is was like to start my company, Suneris, at such a young age.”
In October Landolina will be able to include Brazil on the list of places his work has taken him. He was recently informed that he has been tapped as a 2014 TED Fellow, a select group of 20 leaders and trailblazers chosen because of the strength of their achievements, their potential for impact, and their character. (Other 2014 Fellows include a Swedish documentary filmmaker, a British marine ecologist, and a Filipino alternative-energy entrepreneur.)
His next TED talk, scheduled to take place in Rio de Janeiro during the 2014 TEDGlobal Conference, will focus on the science behind Veti-Gel and its other possible applications, including innovative and highly personalized medical treatments. “I’ve heard that the audience at TEDGlobal is exceptionally diverse and interesting, and I’m looking forward to interacting with them and with the other TED Fellows,” Landolina says.
He will be eager, however, to return to Brooklyn. “We just opened a new, 2,500-square-foot Suneris facility, with labs, a manufacturing plant, and offices,” he explains. “We’ve now got 10 employees, some of them fellow graduates of the NYU School of Engineering, and one of them has just been accepted into the MBA program at Stern, so there should be some exciting developments ahead.”