Healing Wounds

“It started off as a Styrofoam replacement, but now it’s medical material. This is the beauty of biological materials—they can be used for lots of different applications.” ~Jeffrey Catchmark
Jeffrey Catchmark. Photo by Michael Houtz

Jeffrey Catchmark. Photo by Michael Houtz

Research Leads

Jeffrey Catchmark
Professor, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering

Scott Armen
Chief, Division of Trauma, Acute Care, and Critical Care Surgery, Hershey Medical Center


A biofoam pad, made from starch from potatoes and chitosan from shellfish, that can be placed within traumatic wounds to stop bleeding and stabilize the area until the patient can be taken to a medical facility.

Why It’s Important

  • Expands to put pressure on a wound, conforms to a wound’s shape
  • Absorbs blood and body fluids
  • Doesn’t stick to tissue
  • Can be left inside the body


  • Current work focuses on additional comprehensive animal studies, volume manufacturing process development, and a commercialization approach.
  • U.S. Patent Pending (14/198,415)

Technology Development Awards

  • $75,000 - RAIN Grant (2015)
  • $5,000 – Ben Franklin TechCelerator (2015)