TAMPA - As Kerriann Greenhalgh began her PhD in organic chemistry at the University of South Florida in 2004, she never dreamed she would stumble upon a substance that would prompt her to start her own business.
In 2005, her boyfriend was cut badly on his hand while at his job maintaining swimming pools. He ended up having surgery to alleviate the severe infection that developed. The cut was near his thumb joint, and the couple found themselves frustrated with the variety of bandages available on the market for preventing infection.
Greenhalgh's mind turned to a water-based polymer she was working with while in grad school.
"It was highly elastic. It could stretch, and move, and go back to its normal shape," Greenhalgh said.
After years of development, that polymer was part of what is now the basis for Greenhalgh's over-the-counter product, KeriCure, which Greenhalgh said is already available in 200 Kroger stores. Its sister product, Natural Seal, which Greenhalgh's company also makes, is available in several health food stores.
The products are manufactured at Tampa-based Smart Science Lab.
Greenhalgh said the product can simply be sprayed on to any wound, which it then seals and protects from infection. The product is not like other liquid bandages, Greenhalgh states, because it is water-based and does not function like super-glue.
The company plans to have KeriCure in over 800 Publix stores by the middle of September 2013.