Alarmed by the high numbers of warfighters bleeding to death from combat injuries in the Middle East, the Department of Defense put out a call for improved hemostatic dressings. The idea we developed was a dressing based on the natural clotting components of the blood called thrombin and fibrinogen. At the time, there was a deep suspicion of medical products developed from human blood because of the fear of transmission of HIV. To overcome this barrier, blood proteins from salmon were used. Readily available from farmed fish, the fish proteins proved to have many characteristics that made them ideal coagulative agents. A patent was submitted in collaboration with scientists at the Virginia Commonwealth University to electrospin the proteins into a dressing and a union was formed with a small company, St. Teresa Medical, to market the product. Over the last ten years, the collaboration, the dressing and the company has matured and grown. For example, the dressing switched to human proteins as the supply chain became more reliable and fear of contamination decreased. This switch to human proteins overcame the skepticism of the FDA and the European clearance committee. Currently, the product has passed clinical clearance and is sold in New Zealand and completed clinical trials in Norway and the UK and is close to approval for the European market. The U.S. FDA has approved early applications to conduct clinical trials in the U.S. and those trials will be moving forward in 2019.



Publication List
Dr. Rothwell Bio
USU Office of Research




ongoing research projects


partners in the last five years


publications in the last 40 years


different journals in the last 5 years