Every day in the US alone there are 2000 workplace eye injuries, these occupational injuries cost USA employers $467M per annum. If the long-term severity of these injuries could be reduced, the employees would return to work quicker and be more productive. Point-of injury application of TriaGel not only manages wound hydration and provides tissue support but also controls inflammation unlike current products which simply consist of water and gauze. Generally, patients with workplace eye wounds do not receive specialist attention for four to six hours post injury. However, inflammation that occurs in the time from injury to this specialist treatment can cause irreversible tissue damage that often leads to permanent vision loss or disfigurement for the patient, so early control is critical. TriaGel, a first-in-kind topical gel eye dressing, is designed to provide active and immediate management of ocular wounds at the point of injury. By minimizing inflammation, hydrating damaged tissue, and protecting the injured area, it offers safety product distribution companies an innovative differentiated eye care solution where there currently is none.

Technology Description

TriaGel can be applied in any pre-hospital setting. In a matter of seconds, the viscous gel is applied topically and conforms to the unique shape and volume of the wound. It quickly transforms to a solid with properties tailored to mimic orbital fat, which can be easily removed without disrupting the injury site. TriaGel allows nutrients and oxygen to permeate, preserves the tissue in a water-rich environment, and can also be enhanced to autonomously reduce inflammation by slowly releasing FDA-approved drugs in an affordable, efficient, and easy-to- use manor. Reduced swelling and faster stabilization can facilitate shorter times to initial physician evaluation, leading to dramatically better quality of care and outcomes for the patient. TriaGel can revolutionize ocular first aid.


  • Only comprehensive ocular trauma management device
  • Quick and convenient topical administration; one step under 15 seconds
  • Facilitates normal wound healing
  • Sustained delivery of anti-inflammatory drugs for six hours


  • Actively and immediately manage acute ocular and periorbital injuries
  • Minimize risk of infection, inflammation, and scarring through the continual release of

therapeutic drugs

Stage of Development

The fully characterized TriaGel formulation is currently being tested in preclinical models for wound healing, ocular and dermal drug delivery, and irritation assays relevant to complex ocular trauma.

IP Status

Provisional/utility patent filed 11/16/2017.

Notable Mentions

Completed Pitt’s First and Second Gear Programs and Blast Furnace

  • 2017 Chancellor’s Innovation Fund – $35,000
  • 2018 Center for Medical Innovation Award – $25,000
  • 2018 Randall Family Big Idea 2nd place – $15,000


Entrepreneurial Lead, Valerie Quickel, is currently evaluating the regulatory and commercial pathways with the intention of spinning out of the university and applying for SBIR funding in 2019.