This last invention has helped to cement Karp’s reputation as a rising star in the world of bioengineering. Because he doesn’t just invent cool stuff – he turns his creations into actual products. “When we look to solve problems, it’s not so we can publish papers and get pats on the back from the academic community,” said Nick Sherman, a research technician at Karp Lab. “It’s more like, ‘Is this work going to help patients? If not, how do we make it help them?’” Earlier this year, Karp’s surgical glue began a human clinical trial in Paris. It is the first of Karp’s innovations to advance this far. Unlike other surgical glues on the market, his actively repels blood, making it ideal for sealing holes in blood vessels, intestinal tissue, even bone. It is also much sturdier, meaning that surgeons could use it to fix cardiac defects without the need for open heart surgery. “This could completely transform how we perform surgery,” said Jean-Marc Alsac, the cardiovascular surgeon at the Hospital European Georges-Pompidou in Paris who is overseeing the trial.

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