Tampa, Florida -- The University of South Florida ranks 10th among universities worldwide in U.S. patents. One of the inventions that's putting USF on the map is a liquid bandage that helps close wounds both big and small.
While getting her PhD, Dr. Kerriann Greenhalgh was collaborating with a professor at USF on a project when she discovered a polymer could be turned into a bandage.
"I was really struck by its elastic properties, its ability to stretch and move with the body and then come back to its original shape which is very similar to the skin," Greenhalgh said.
In the midst of her research, her soon-to-be husband had a nasty cut that developed staph that needed immediate surgery to avoid nerve damage or amputation. That's when she knew she needed to push forward with KeriCure.
"It just kind of clicked for me," Greenhalgh said. "This would make a great skin, a secondary skin, an artificial skin to help clean wounds clean and infection free. "
She tinkered with the formula, even tested it on her own cuts and scrapes, and created a water based solution that has no harsh chemicals or preservatives.
"When you put it on, you spray it on your hand. It forms a protective barrier and it protects bacteria from getting in. But because it's water-based, there's no stinging involved and it actually helps to hydrate the wound and it keeps it moisturized which actually helps with the cosmetic outcome of the wound as well."
While its competitors are flexible, they don't have the same elasticity which allows you to move your knuckles while it's on. It's also waterproof and sweatproof.
"You can go swimming with it," Greenhalgh said. "The EMTs at SeaWorld have it in their pockets which is great there you know the kids have these cuts and if they put band aids on them then they're putting their hands in the fish tanks in the touch tanks and you get band aids in there and it's awful."
The spray is attached to a keychain or you can put it in your pocket, and with about 170 liquid bandages in a bottle for $10.99 at major retailers like Publix and Kroger, KeriCure is sealing up success.
"Our motto with this product is KeriCure and carry on so it's really intended for moms, people on the go, active lifestyles doing sports to really be able to spray it and keep going about their business and not have to worry about it."
KeriCure is Tampa-based company with five full-time employees. It's manufactured and packaged locally too. Since KeriCure is partners with USF, the company has lab space and supports eight undergraduates, giving them real life research experience.
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