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Displaying Available Technologies results for Medical Devices

ARM STABILIZER FOR HUMERAL INTRAOSSEOUS INFUSION

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Intraosseous (IO) needles are used in critical care situations when therapies need to be administered but venous access is not possible. However, IO needles placed in the head of the humerus frequently become dislodged when the patient is lifted or transported. This creates an additional emergency as therapies are no longer able to be delivered. IO needle manufacturers have attempted to solve the problem by including kit accessories that stabilize the needle, but they are often ineffective.

This invention provides a method to stabilize the arm of the patient instead of attempting to stabilize the IO needle itself. It consists of a strapping system that allows the wrist to be secured to the patient’s body so that the arm cannot move during lifting or transport. The invention has a low profile so that it provides minimal obstruction of the rest of the body, enabling first responders to work on other areas as needed.


PROSTHESIS WITH DYNAMIC TRANSVERSE SCREWS FOR INTRAMEDULLARY STABILIZATION

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Osseo-integrated humeral prosthetic implants can become dislodged from the bone when subjected to high forces, especially soon after implantation. No other percutaneous implant system has successfully addressed this issue.

The inventors have developed a shortened prosthetic implant that contains transverse slots to accept screws. The slots allow a degree of freedom for the implant to migrate toward the shoulder, but it cannot rotate inside the bone or move away from the shoulder, allowing the user to use the prosthetic to its full capability and range of motion soon after implantation. Once the implant has fully healed, an osseo-integrated porous surface bears the load.


EEG-GUIDED ANESTHESIA FOR THE TREATMENT OF SEVERE DEPRESSION

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Treatment-resistant depression is sometimes treated by electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), where the patient is anesthetized and administered electric shocks to the skull. However, acceptance of ECT is limited because of the potential for memory loss and the perceived crudeness of the procedure.

Research has indicated that inactivation of certain parts of the brain – through deep anesthesia – for a period of time can also have positive effects on severe depression. The properly reduced level of brain activity needed to treat severe depression is indicated when an electroencephalogram (EEG) shows a “burst suppression” pattern. This invention describes a closed-loop system where the anesthetic delivery system monitors the patient’s EEG and automatically adjusts the flow of anesthesia to keep the brain at the proper level of activity to treat depression.


MAGNETICALLY DRIVEN, MESOSCALE SHUTTLE FOR MEDICAL DEVICE PLACEMENT

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Medical device implantation often results in tissue damage due to placement difficulties. Such damage adds risk to implantation procedures and may limit the depth to which devices can be placed, leading to suboptimal device performance.

The proposed invention is a small, soft, flexible shuttle with two embedded dipole magnets. This structure is attached to the device or lead to be implanted and placed in the body, enabling the physician to steer the shuttle through the body by using another magnet placed on the skin. The shuttle is propelled forward in a wavelike motion by the external magnet until it reaches the desired location, with minimal tissue damage.


TONSIL-VIEW

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Complications of tonsillectomies, such as tonsillectomy hemorrhage, occur in approximately five percent of patients each year. Tonsillectomy hemorrhage and other throat conditions, such as strep throat and peritonsillar abscess, can be hard to visualize, especially in patients with long soft palates or small pharynxes.

TonsilView enables clear visualization of the oropharynx and tonsils joint with a bite block, tongue depressor, and cheek/lip retractor. The bite guard facilitates an unobstructed view of the tonsils, while the tongue depressor and retractor expose additional soft tissues of the oropharynx for enhanced diagnosis and treatment.


SOLID-TO-LIQUID CORE SHELL STRUCTURE FOR IMPLANTABLE ELECTRONICS

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Utah electrode arrays have rigid bases that damage brain tissue following insertion. Yet, flexible arrays developed to reduce tissue damage are often difficult to handle and properly insert, often requiring larger shuttles to facilitate insertion. The use of these shuttles can cause more tissue trauma than the smaller, rigid electrode arrays the flexible arrays are designed to replace.

A University of Utah researcher has developed an electrode wire made of gallium and surrounded by a polymer sheath that is rigid upon insertion and softens once in the body, facilitating insertion without a large shuttle. Additionally, once the gallium liquefies at body temperature, the electrodes will likely inflict less damage to neural tissues, due to their flexibility.


TOTAL IV ANESTHESIA DRIP CHAMBER ALARM

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There is currently no way to measure the drip rate of an IV to ensure an uninterrupted flow of IV-administered anesthetic. Yet, if anesthetic flow is interrupted during total IV anesthesia, then the patient may begin to wake before the anesthesiologist intends.

A University of Utah researcher has developed a scissor-like device which would clamp on to the drip chamber of an IV to alert anesthesiologists if flow is interrupted. A beam emitter and sensor system is used to measure the drip by monitoring when the beam is broken by the drops of fluid. A timer is used to set the maximum time interval between drips and an audible alarm is sounded if the drop sequence is outside the predetermined set duration.


URINARY CONTROL DEVICE

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Men who have received therapy for prostate cancer often experience complications such as urinary obstruction or incontinence. Obstruction is often treated by using a spanner, which does not address incontinence and incontinence is treated with adult diapers, which does not address obstruction.

A University of Utah team has constructed a shortened urinary catheter that stays near the bladder that treats incontinence without obstructing the urethra. A unique, one-way pressure valve is operated by squeezing the penis, offering independent bladder control. The catheter, unlike Foley catheters, is entirely contained within the penis. This catheter can be removed monthly or bi-monthly in a clinic.


MAGNETIC STEERING FOR IMPROVED COCHLEAR IMPLANT SURGERY

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Implantation of a cochlear implant often causes damage to the cochlear walls, the scala tympani, and other cochlear structures. This damage results in additional hearing loss to cochlear implant recipients, who already have significant hearing loss.

University of Utah researchers have developed a method for implanting a cochlear implant while minimizing the collateral damage of the surgery. To do this, a small magnet is integrated into the tip of the cochlear implant. Another magnet is mounted to an actuator which is placed near the patient’s head. The actuator can be precision-controlled to move the magnet on the cochlear implant in the desired direction. The direction of the movement of the cochlear implant can be easily and precisely changed by rotating the actuator the desired amount. Using a combination of actuator movement and rotation, the cochlear implant is slowly and precisely “pulled” into place without causing damage to surrounding tissues. Once it is placed, the actuator is removed and the implant stays in place.


ANESTHETIC VOLATILES SENSOR

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Accurate anesthetic deployment is essential to successful surgical outcomes. Accordingly, current technology assesses the level of volatile anesthetic entering a patient through side stream infrared analysis. Yet, this highly accurate method of anesthetic sensing is cost prohibitive for low-income and resource-limited regions.

A novel low cost anesthetic volatiles sensor has been developed for use in resource-limited settings. The sensor includes tachometer and flow sensor readings typical in breathing circuits. The tachometer measures the revolutions per minute of the breathing circuit, while the flow sensor detects gas flow. The distinct readings between the two sensors indicate the proper anesthetic agent concentration and facilitate consistent anesthetic agent level monitoring.


ACTIVELY VARIABLE TRANSMISSION FOR PROSTHETICS

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There are about 185,000 lower limb amputations in the United States each year. Lower limb prosthetics often slow amputees’ gaits. Current active prosthetics are unable to optimize themselves to large changes in pace: For example, a motorized device optimized for stair climbing has a high transmission ratio that is unable to move fast enough to provide assistance walking.

Inventors at the University of Utah’s Bionic Engineering Lab have developed an actively variable transmission system capable of actively changing the crank length, and therefore, transmission ratio. The system incorporates sensors and microprocessors to transition automatically between locomotion modes such as walking, running, ascent, and
descent.


PASSIVELY VARIABLE TRANSMISSION FOR PROSTHETICS AND EXOSKELETONS

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There are about 185,000 lower limb amputations in the United States each year. Moving lower limb prosthetics often requires greater metabolic costs and often slows amputees’ walking gaits. Current active prosthetics, which react autonomously to changing surroundings, gait cues, and more, are unable to optimize themselves to large changes in pace: For example, a motorized device optimized for stair climbing has a high transmission ratio that is unable to move fast enough to provide assistance walking.

University of Utah researchers at the Bionic Engineering Lab have developed a passively variable transmission system, enabling passive transmission ratio fluctuation. The passively variable elements of the transmission change length and/or orientation with variations in direction and magnitude of torque and force from elements of the prosthesis.


TRANSLATIONAL & ROTATIONAL ARROW CUES FOR IMAGE-GUIDED SURGERIES

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Image-guided surgeries use two-dimensional, tri-planar displays that simultaneously show three distinct orthogonal viewpoints of the surgical field. However, visual interpretation of these 2D, tri-planar displays requires significant practice. The surgical tools’ interaction with the display is unintuitive and unreflective of the surgeon’s perspective.

University of Utah researchers have developed a surgical tool tracker and software that facilitates image-guided surgery by presenting a three-dimensional view of the surgical target from a single viewpoint. The display guides the surgeon to the surgical target using translational and rotational arrow cues (TRAC). The TRAC system shows a single arrow to the surgeon at a time, to enable accurate placement of surgical tools. When the surgeon reaches the desired target, the object appears green, signaling correct placement of surgical tools. TRAC navigation can be integrated into existing image-guided or robotic surgical procedure monitors.


BACTERIAL BIOFILM STAINING DYE AND APPLICATION DEVICE

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Biofilm-related infections pose a significant challenge to healthcare providers as they form a barrier impermeable to antibiotics. As a result, treatment of these infections typically requires debridement, a task burdened by the invisibility of biofilm to the naked eye. Methylene blue (MB) is a compound safe to humans that is known to bind to and stain biofilms without staining healthy tissue or prosthetic implants. Yet, there is no easy way to apply MB to tissues.

University of Utah researchers have created an application device for methylene blue stain. The device can be used for convenient and precise application of MB in vivo, allowing healthcare providers to easily identify bacterial biofilm-infected tissue for removal.


CHARGE STEERING HIGH DENSITY ELECTRODE ARRAY FOR DEEP BRAIN STIMULATION

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Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has therapeutic benefits for neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, tremors, chronic pain, and dystonia. Existing DBS solutions utilize four-channel electrodes that only allow spherical charge distributions. This lack of targeting capability results in placement errors, with three to five insertions typically required for correct placement.

A new electrode array with enhanced circuitry enhances targeting and improves stimulation by enabling successful stimulation in spite of placement errors. The array uses a silicon backbone and seven wires for full control over an unlimited number of electrode contacts. The stimulation parameters can be controlled based on the neuroanatomical target by switching between contacts, facilitating effective DBS on the first insertion of the array into the brain. The high number of small contacts on the surface also allows nuanced control over the amount of tissue being excited.


ELECTROMYOGRAPHIC SIGNAL PROCESSING FOR PROSTHETICS

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There are over 2 million amputees in the United States, all of whom face challenges that impact their quality of life. Innovations in myoelectric prosthetics are emerging that enable better prosthetic-amputee control and interaction, and displace passive, older prosthetics. Yet, current models of myoelectric prosthetics rely on low degree-of-freedom decoding methods that create obstacles to graded movements and require significant contractile force to stimulate.

Software designed using a Kalman filter enables individual digit, wrist, elbow, and shoulder control for transhumoral and above amputees. The algorithm allows real-time, proportional, intuitive control of the prosthetic, with no need for recalibration. This gives prosthetics capabilities more akin to natural limbs and improves users’ quality of life.


CATHETER TIP MONITORING SYSTEM

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Cardiac tissue ablation is a technique used for the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias. Although approximately eighty percent of patients respond positively to ablation, poor visualization of the ablation catheter limits greater effectiveness. For example, inaccurate placement of the ablation radiofrequencies can cause unintended scars and recurrence of arrhythmia symptoms.

A novel monitoring system for magnetic resonance imaging-guided catheter ablation has been developed to enhance visualization. The system monitors catheter tip position relative to cardiac wall and tissue structures while ensuring contact between the ablation source and the target. Additionally, the imaging system better evaluates the quality of the ablation from the electrogram with electrogram-recording electrodes.


AUGMENTED VIDEOLARYNGOSCOPY SYSTEM

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Tracheal intubation requires placing a tube into the windpipe through the nose or mouth. This procedure is frequently performed in critically injured, ill, or anesthetized patients to facilitate lung ventilation and prevent asphyxiation or airway obstruction. The vast majority of tracheal intubations involve optical instruments, such as a video laryngoscope, to improve airway and vocal cord visualization. Conventional video laryngoscopes, unfortunately, fail to provide sufficient information to guide intubation.

The Augmented Videolaryngscopy System integrates with traditional video laryngoscopes, adding sensors, a microprocessor, and network connectivity. The new video laryngoscopy system provides improved visualization, audio and voice control features, onscreen display of auxiliary information, image information extraction for display, analysis, and processing. It also facilitates information-based treatment. This can be applied to perioperative anesthesia, critical care, emergency medicine, and battlefield trauma situations.


ANTIMICROBIAL CAP FOR EXTERNAL IMPLANT PROTRUSIONS

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External fixation, in which an implant protrudes from the skin, is typical for lower limb amputees because it enables them to attach a prosthetic to their limb. Soft tissue infection at the skin-external fixator interface is a common condition that can spread to the internal prosthesis device. If prosthesis infection remains undetected, it usually requires surgical removal of the device.

University researchers have constructed an antimicrobial cap to mitigate infection complications of external fixators. The cap slips over the external portion of a fixator and covers the soft tissue surrounding it. The cap is imbued with an antimicrobial agent and fits closely to the soft tissue-fixator interface, providing long-lasting protection against infection.


LIQUID TO SOLID INTRAVASCULAR EMBOLIC

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Embolization is a minimally invasive therapy that provides stable and localized occlusion of arterial blood flow (transarterial embolization, TAE) with applications in rapidly growing markets of interventional radiology and cancer treatment. However, transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) treatments have severe shortcomings due to chemotherapeutic toxicity, off-target embolization, and non-degradability.

University of Utah researchers have developed an innovative biopolymer, composed of silk-like elastin proteins that overcomes the above shortcomings by combining the best properties of both liquid and solid embolics for TACE. The SELP embolic polymer is liquid at room temperature permitting localized delivery through smaller diameter catheters that transitions in vivo to a solid providing stable occlusion. This liquid to solid embolic enables pinpoint embolization of tumor-feeding arteries and can also be used to deliver therapeutics.


BIMANUAL OPERATIVE BRONCHOSCOPE

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Foreign body aspirations require urgent intervention to prevent life threatening complications. Rigid bronchoscopes facilitate removal of foreign objects and serve as an airway to maintain patient oxygenation during the procedure. Use of these bronchoscopes, however, is limited by complicated assembly, poor fit, and increased flow resistance.

A novel rigid bronchoscope improves the flow of gas during foreign body removal in pediatrics patients to prevent complications. The bronchoscope is a single system that contains a lighting and imaging system to provide continuous viewing of the airway. The proximal and distal ends allow for increased movement of instruments. A disposable cuff attached to the bronchoscope maintains positive pressure ventilation. The device requires minimal assembly and facilitates more efficient intervention to restore ventilation.


EARLY-STAGE DETECTION OF PREGNANCY COMPLICATIONS

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Almost half of pregnant women experience complications that increase their risk of maternal mortality and perinatal morbidity. When complications are identified early, treatment can reduce the risk of premature delivery and maternal fatalities. Studies indicate that early administration of therapeutic agents, particularly for preeclampsia, reduces the risk of severe complications during labor and delivery by up to 95 percent and decreases incidence of premature births. Fetal health screens, however, have a sensitivity of less than 25 percent before the 16th week, preventing early detection.

A new screening tool identifies pregnancies at risk of disease or prematurity at as early as 12 weeks. The test measures Doppler blood flow velocities to assess coherence between maternal and fetal blood flow, an indicator of various disease states. This enables first trimester detection of fetal and maternal health concerns and allows effective, preventive treatments to start early in the second trimester.


JOINT FUSION/LIMB GROWTH KEEL PLATE

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Almost 200,000 orthopedic procedures involving metal bone plates are performed annually in the United States. These bone plates facilitate healing in fractured bones by holding the bone in place. Bone plates, however, are often oversized, which causes irritation in the surrounding soft tissue and hinders bone growth.
A new orthopedic bone plate, made of stainless steel or titanium, has been developed for securing bones during joint fusion procedures. This plate is designed for procedures with limited soft tissue coverage and avoids tissue damage caused by traditional plates. The internal side of the plate includes a T-shaped cross-sectional keel that has a thin edge for enhanced integration in the bone. The plate can withstand high levels of torsion and 3-point bends, increasing its applicability in small joint procedures. The keel plate can also be used to correct limb deformities in children.


CARDIAC TISSUE IMAGING CATHETER

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Atrial Fibrillation (AFib), the most common cardiac arrhythmia, causes serious tissue damage to the heart and increases the risk of stroke and heart failure. Existing ablation techniques only prove successful approximately 50 percent of the time because it is difficult to distinguish between diseased and healthy heart tissue.

A novel device improves ablation success by combining imaging, electrical mapping, and navigation. The device differentiates between healthy and diseased tissue with microstructural detail. The catheter and accompanying software also enables electrical mapping of the tissues functionality. This allows clinicians to visualize information of tissue microstructure with functional data, providing an individualized atlas of regional structure and function that guides diagnosis and treatment. The device is deployed using a steerable sheath and integrates with existing


CATHETERIZED TISSUE MICROSTRUCTURE IMAGING DYE AND CATHETERIZED IMAGING

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Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia and causes serious tissue damage to the heart. AFib also increases the risk of stroke and heart failure. Existing ablation techniques only have about a 50 percent chance of success in treating AFib because clinicians do not have enough information about the extent and location of tissue damage. The proposed invention improves ablation treatment by providing real-time visualization of damaged tissues. A disposable probe characterizes tissue damage before, during, and after the ablation procedure. Computational imaging processing and electrical measurements are then used to transform sequences of two-dimensional images into complete, real-time images of the tissue. A steerable catheter can then position the ablation system using the images provided to ensure all damaged tissue is covered.


CONTINUOUS REAL-TIME MONITOR TO DETECT ACUTE KIDNEY INJURY RISK

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Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a common surgical complication that affects up to 50 percent of ICU patients. It leads to increases in mortality, hospital stays, and costs. Early detection of changes in renal function is critical to prevent disease progression. Existing methods of monitoring kidney health, however, take hours to obtain results and fail to detect changes until after kidney injury has occurred. The proposed technology enables continuous, real-time monitoring of urine flow and kidney health. Low oxygen is a major determinant of AKI. By placing a probe in pre-existing catheter technologies, the monitor measures oxygen tension in the urine to facilitate early detection and intervention of AKI.


PORTABLE AND EXPANDABLE PRE-GAIT BARS

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Studies show that early mobility for patients in intensive and acute care units (ICU) results in fewer days on mechanical ventilation and shorter ICU and overall hospital stays. Typically, patients in these units are profoundly injured and cannot travel to rehabilitation rooms, meaning therapy has to occur at the patient’s bedside. These space constraints often delay treatment until patient health improves.

Portable and Expandable Pre-Gait Parallel Bars offer clinicians and their patients a safe, adjustable, and space-saving means of implementing early mobility therapy. The bars provide a stable frame for basic functions, such as weight shifting and stepping strategies that are essential to early mobility. The stability and design of these bars allow therapists to sit in front of the patient and assist at the foot, knee, or hips without worrying about patients falling. The device has a small form factor and is built from lightweight, industrial grade materials to ensure safety and portability. This new set of expandable parallel bars with adjustable height and width allows physical therapists to engage patients at their bedside, eliminating a barrier to early mobility.


NOVEL DELIVERY DEVICE FOR FRAGILE MEDICAL IMPLANTS

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Surgical trocars are the most commonly used delivery method for implanting fragile devices in the body. These trocars create pathways in human tissue to help implant small medical devices, but can damage fragile implantable devices in the process. The proposed technology is a micro- and nanotechnology medical device carrier that enables trocars and other delivery devices to deliver fragile objects to a targeted area, safely and securely. The device is bullet shaped and hollow with holes on one side to allow for suturing to hold the implant in place. The tip of the device has a bulb for hemostats to grab and help guide delivery and extraction of the carrier. The bullet shape of the device helps reduce drag while moving through body tissue, and provides continuous protection for the fragile implant during surgery.


MODIFIED NASAL CANNULA FOR SEAMLESS PRE-OXYGENATION TRANSITION

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Anesthesiologists pre-oxygenate patients using an oxygen mask prior to intubation. Once the oxygen mask is removed, this supply of oxygen is normally sufficient for a healthy adult patient to be intubated within three minutes. Failure to intubate within this timeframe leads to hypoxia, brain injury, or death. The current industry standard is to use a bag valve mask (BVM) during pre-oxygenation. After pre-oxygenation, the BVM is removed for intubation to occur. Research has demonstrated use of a nasal cannula prior to and after the BVM increases the safe apneic window. Removing and replacing the nasal cannula for the BVM, however, disrupts the workflow.

The proposed technology modifies a traditional nasal cannula by replacing the rigid tubing with collapsible tubing, allowing the nasal cannula to stay in place during pre-oxygenation and ventilation. This simplifies workflow and provides anesthesiologists with more time to intubate patients.


KIRKHAM BIRTHING HARNESS

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Studies indicate that giving birth in the squatting position provides many benefits, such as shorter labor, reduced incidence of Cesarean section, and decreased need for forceps, or vacuum deliveries. Most women, however, do not have the upper leg strength required to stay in a squatting position throughout the second stage of labor (pushing), which can last from 20 minutes to 2 hours.

The Kirkham Birthing Harness supports women in a squatting position without adding pressure or strain on their arms and legs. The birthing harness comprises thigh, rear torso, and body straps that support the patient. The harness itself is supported by a patient lift or comparable support systems, such as the Hoyer Lift, thus allowing the mother to maintain the squatting position for extended periods without muscle exhaustion.


PAIN-FREE VENTRICULAR DEFIBRILLATION FOR ICDs

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Approximately 1 million individuals in the United States are at high risk for sudden cardiac death. Sudden cardiac death is often associated with ventricular fibrillation (VF), so patients at high risk for VF are fitted with an implantable cardioverter (ICD). ICDs rapidly detect and treat abnormal rhythms. Unfortunately, while ICDs can save lives, they also reduce patients’ quality of life and psychological state.

The proposed technology delivers low energy unique pacing for pain-free defibrillation. By reducing the defibrillation energy, the system reduces heart damage and eliminates the pain and anxiety associated with defibrillation shocks. In addition, the technology can be easily incorporated into current ICDs.


MEDICAL GAS DELIVERY DEVICE

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Patients with diseases of the heart and lungs, such as pulmonary hypertension, may not comply with use of a face mask or nasal cannula for delivery of medical gas. Movement can also render medical gas delivery methods ineffective if a patient turns their head away from the gas source.

The proposed medical gas delivery device could be incorporated with a hat, hood, pillow or other garment to provide supplemental oxygen and other gases near the face of patients who struggle with a face mask or nasal cannula. The device permits patients to move without interrupting the flow of medical gas. The initial hoody device delivers medical gas from a source near the waist through a tube that expels the medical gas near the patient’s face. This reduces the chance of air-flow disruption, common with long tubing, and improves patient compliance due to the increased comfort of the delivery device.


OSTEOGENESIS: METHOD FOR RETENTION OF MEDIA DURING BONE GRAFTING

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Trauma or tumors in the craniofacial region can lead to loss of extended bone structure. Resultant defects in the skull require surgical repair and reshaping using rigid, static, and artificial implant materials. These materials often contribute to stress fracturing and cannot be reshaped as the patient grows, which leads to a high number of revision surgeries.

OsteoGenesis is a patient-specific, osteogenic scaffold that is both porous and resorbable. It includes two interlocking plates held together by screws that promote bone regrowth after maxillofacial surgery. Scans obtained using existing imaging techniques are used to print unique PGLA scaffolds that fit the precise needs of each patient. Spacers are used to optimize pore size for maximum particle retention and provide mechanical support. The device is bio-tolerable, preserves functional strength, and facilitates personalized medical treatment, which improves patient outcomes.


PRESSURE-SENSOR EMBEDDED STENT

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Restenosis, the development of plaque deposition in the arteries, occurs in 20 percent of stent implanted patients. Diagnostic technologies on the market today are error prone, difficult to implant, and difficult to manufacture.

A new stent has been developed for use in angioplasty stent placement to widen arteries the same as a traditional stent. The stent can measure the pressure along its length to accurately diagnose restenosis. By measuring any drastic drop or gradual increase in pressure through a multiple-zone pressure sensor scheme, the device is able to help locate and diagnose restenosis. These measurements are transmitted wirelessly to a data retrieval device, eliminating the need for periodic interventional procedures currently used to monitor the development of restenosis.


NANOCOMPOSITE-BASED ANTENNA

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Implantable medical devices, such as pacemakers and cochlear implants, require wireless communication capabilities. These wireless data transmission systems rely on integrated miniature antennas to transmit patient data and monitor device health. Performance of traditional antennas is limited by size constraints, incompatibility with the body, and muffled signals.

The nanocomposite-based implantable antenna combines high conductivity and low stiffness, and allows wireless implantable medical devices to communicate externally without biocompatibility or stability issues. An additional external tattoo or textile antenna could also be placed on the fat layer of the skin to allow deeper placement of implantable devices in the body, while reducing radiative absorption and transmission loss. Using the combined system of implantable and external antennas improves overall implant communication.


AT-HOME BACK TRACTION DEVICE

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Lower back pain affects over 80 percent of the United States population, with adverse effects ranging from minor discomfort to severe, incapacitating pain. In many cases, lumbar traction reduces discomfort and can help the body to heal by stretching the spine and reducing pressure on compressed disks. Equipment to support lumbar traction, however, can be costly, large, complicated, and inconvenient, which often prevents in home use. A popular home solution, the inversion table, can be unsafe and also ineffective because the position cannot maintained for the 15 minutes required for traction to occur.

This Back Traction Device is a simple, comfortable device that allows sustained lumbar traction sessions to relieve lower back pain. The device uses gravity to gradually distract tissue and vertebra, decompressing the lumbar spine as the patient lays on the floor. Treatable back pain includes discomfort from nerve impingement, stenosis, arthritis, and disc bulges.


MICROTEXTURING OF PROSTHETIC KNEE AND HIP JOINTS TO IMPROVE LONGEVITY

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More than 200,000 total hip replacement (THR) surgeries are performed in the United States each year. THR surgery is needed when the articular cartilage cushioning of the joint deteriorates, causing pain and disability. Over time, polyethylene wear particles absorb into the tissue around the prosthetic joint, which may cause inflammation, mechanical instability, or dislocation of the prosthetic joint components. As a result, patients seek revision THR surgery or live in discomfort.

A new microtexturing technology places microscale texture features or “dimples” on the CoCrMo bearing surface of the prosthetic joint. The microtexture features form microhydrodynamic bearings that reduce friction and polyethylene wear.


NEW PREDICTOR OF BLOOD PRESSURE RESPONSE DURING FAST VENTRICULAR ARRHYTHMIAS

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Implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) detect ventricular arrhythmias and deliver a jolt of electricity to restore normal heart rhythm. The strength of required electric shocks and the inability to predict when future shocks will occur cause pain and anxiety for many patients. Anti-tachycardia pacing (ATP) restores normal heart rhythm without electric shocks, but its use is limited due to concerns that ATP may not terminate severe arrhythmias. The proposed technology utilizes a novel algorithm in conjunction with an ICD to determine whether ATP or electric shock is required to restore normal heart function. The algorithm uses data already collected and stored by the ICD to predict blood pressure response during an arrhythmia by identifying the cycle length and depolarization rate of the sinoatrial node. With this software, clinicians can utilize ATP more effectively and eliminate unnecessary electric shocks.


LIQUID GLUE BIOPSY: NOVEL METHOD FOR NON-INVASIVE SKIN SAMPLING

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Nucleic acid diagnostics help identify and monitor diseases. Traditional methods for the recovery of nucleic acids and proteins from the skin, however, involve the use of a scalpel or other sharp instrument. These sampling methods require local anesthesia, create bleeding wounds, produce scarring and generally necessitate sutures to close the skin. Adhesive tape has also been used to obtain skin samples, but requires repeated applications of tape strips to inflamed lesions. This new technology provides an innovative, simple approach to recover skin samples using liquid adhesives. A novel glue is painted onto the skin and then overlaid with support materials. Removing the glue facilitates harvesting of skin samples with ample material for assay testing. This method provides a one-step, efficient, and non-invasive means for recovering nucleic acids from skin lesions of all sizes.


3D PRINTING IN THE BODY

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Implantable medical devices, such as artificial joints, coronary stents, and artificial organs increasingly are customized for individual patients using 3D printing technologies. After surgical implantation of externally printed devices, the soft tissue surrounding the implant or repaired bone must heal on its own. This process can result in disfiguration and debilitating scar tissue. Short-term implants provide temporary tissue support to assist the healing process, but eventually require surgical removal.

The proposed invention facilitates printing soft structures inside the body. Heat-enabled cross-linking polymers are inserted into a body cavity as a liquid and then activated with heat, causing them to solidify. The polymers conform to a specific shape creating 3D soft structures directly in the body. The technology could repair soft tissue damage, as well as create reconstructive implants or antennae for improved transmissivity.


FINBLADE: SUBCUTANEOUS CUTTING DEVICE

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Certain medical procedures, such as carpal tunnel release, require cutting subcutaneous tissue. In many of these procedures, swelling or malformation of tissues impacts nearby nerves and causes pain. Cutting the swollen or malformed tissue can provide more space for impinged nerves. In order to cut the targeted tissue, however, a cutting device must be able to both reach the targeted tissue and be removed from the patient. In open surgery for carpal tunnel release, clinicians make a 5 cm incision that takes up to 14 days to heal. Endoscopic surgery, the current alternative, entails two 1.5 cm incisions and has a 4 – 8 day recovery time.

The Subcutaneous Cutting Device can be inserted like a needle or with the aid of a sub-centimeter incision, lowering recovery time substantially. Ultrasound allows visualization of the affected structure, as well as the device, in real time, thereby preventing misplacement of the needle and cutting of the wrong tissue. This device has additional applications for cyst punctures or incisions, muscle release, nerve incision, adhesion release, and tenotomy.


FLEXIBLE LOAD TRANSDUCER (FLEx) SENSOR

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Sensors used to measure force load under the foot rely on strain gauge technologies that are often inaccurate and expensive.

The proposed technology is a conformable, biomechanical force sensor that increases accuracy and decreases costs. This novel sensor is comprised of a flexible and compliant substrate with discrete sensors and electronic circuitry embedded in a protective cushioning layer. The sensors includes power, measurement, calibration, and data communication functions compatible with load monitoring, force sensing for touch human or robotic interfaces, gait monitoring and shoe inserts for medical, prosthetic, and athletic performance evaluation.


CAUTI PREVENTION WITH ADVANCECATH

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Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) affect over one million patients in the United States annually and contribute to approximately 13,000 deaths and $1B in healthcare costs. Two-thirds of CAUTIs develop due to Foley catheter design flaws that limit urine flow and allow bacterial colonization on the catheter’s external surface.

AdvanceCath is a flexible, indwelling catheter that keeps the sphincter and prostate urethra open, which allows urine to flow around the entire catheter and eliminates the space where bacteria typically spreads. A condom-like catheter collects urine and stores it in a sterile bag. The system also has the ability to flush the urethra with an antibacterial solution to reduce risk of infection further. A bladder retention mechanism under development includes a fail-safe component that will collapse the retention component under excessive pressure and prevent damage to the urethra as the device is removed.


BIODEGRADABLE DRUG-DELIVERING NERVE CONDUIT

Technology Summary
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Over 25 percent of patients who undergo surgery for nerve injuries experience complications from scar tissue and infections. Less than 50 percent of patients recover full motor and sensory function after a peripheral nerve injury.

The Biodegradable Drug-Delivering Nerve Conduit aims to improve patient outcomes by regenerating nerves. A drug reservoir is attached to a biodegradable conduit that acts as a bridge between damaged and healthy nerves. It allows impulses to reach the damaged nerves and preserves muscle function. This technology also offers unique adaptability. It is able to release a variety of different proteins or small molecules and can also titrate drugs into a patient as necessary without a complete redesign of the technology.


MODULAR OSSEOINTEGRATED, POROUS-COATED PROSTHETIC ABUTMENT SYSTEM

Technology Summary
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Percutaneous fixation implants anchor a prosthesis to a selected bone, which increases mobility, but can cause infection, skin regression, and early implant failure. Such complications require surgery to replace the implant and involve long recovery periods that reduce the quality of life for amputees.

The Modular Osseointegrated, Porous-coated Prosthetic Abutment System (MOPPAS) alleviates complications associated with existing fixation systems through the use of removable modular components. Interlocking sleeves and an end cap fasten MOPPAS components together. Portions of the implant can be removed and replaced individually, which increases the longevity of implants systems and reduces more complicated, follow-on surgeries necessary to replace failed implants.