Potential to allow more of patients’ clogged arteries to be cleared without major surgery
Researchers have developed the technology for a catheter-based device that would provide forward-looking, real-time, three-dimensional imaging from inside the heart, coronary arteries and peripheral blood vessels. With its volumetric imaging, the new device could better guide surgeons working in the heart, and potentially allow more of patients’ clogged arteries to be cleared without major surgery.
The device integrates ultrasound transducers with processing electronics on a single 1.4 millimeter silicon chip. On-chip processing of signals allows data from more than a hundred elements on the device to be transmitted using just 13 tiny cables, permitting it to easily travel through circuitous blood vessels. The forward-looking images produced by the device would provide significantly more information than existing cross-sectional ultrasound.
Researchers have developed and tested a prototype able to provide image data at 60 frames per second, and plan next to conduct animal studies that could lead to commercialization of the device.
“Our device will allow doctors to see the whole volume that is in front of them within a blood vessel,” said F. Levent Degertekin, a professor in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. “This will give cardiologists the equivalent of a flashlight so they can see blockages ahead of them in occluded arteries. It has the potential for reducing the amount of surgery that must be done to clear these vessels.”
Details of the research were published online in the February 2014 issue of the journal IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control. Research leading to the device development was supported by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), part of the National Institutes of Health.
“If you’re a doctor, you want to see what is going on inside the arteries and inside the heart, but most of the devices being used for this today provide only cross-sectional images,” Degertekin explained. “If you have an artery that is totally blocked, for example, you need a system that tells you what’s in front of you. You need to see the front, back and sidewalls altogether. That kind of information is basically not available at this time.”
The single chip device combines capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducer (CMUT) arrays with front-end CMOS electronics technology to provide three-dimensional intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) and intracardiac echography (ICE) images. The dual-ring array includes 56 ultrasound transmit elements and 48 receive elements. When assembled, the donut-shaped array is just 1.5 millimeters in diameter, with a 430-micron center hole to accommodate a guide wire.
Power-saving circuitry in the array shuts down sensors when they are not needed, allowing the device to operate with just 20 milliwatts of power, reducing the amount of heat generated inside the body. The ultrasound transducers operate at a frequency of 20 megahertz (MHz).
Imaging devices operating within blood vessels can provide higher resolution images than devices used from outside the body because they can operate at higher frequencies. But operating inside blood vessels requires devices that are small and flexible enough to travel through the circulatory system. They must also be able to operate in blood.
Doing that requires a large number of elements to transmit and receive the ultrasound information. Transmitting data from these elements to external processing equipment could require many cable connections, potentially limiting the device’s ability to be threaded inside the body.
Degertekin and his collaborators addressed that challenge by miniaturizing the elements and carrying out some of the processing on the probe itself, allowing them to obtain what they believe are clinically-useful images with only 13 cables.
“You want the most compact and flexible catheter possible,” Degertekin explained. “We could not do that without integrating the electronics and the imaging array on the same chip.”
Based on their prototype, the researchers expect to conduct animal trials to demonstrate the device’s potential applications. They ultimately expect to license the technology to an established medical diagnostic firm to conduct the clinical trials necessary to obtain FDA approval.
For the future, Degertekin hopes to develop a version of the device that could guide interventions in the heart under magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Other plans include further reducing the size of the device to place it on a 400-micron diameter guide wire.
The Latest on: Clogged arteries
via Google News
The Latest on: Clogged arteries
- Big Study Casts Doubt on Need for Many Heart Procedureson December 10, 2019 at 2:39 pm
People with severe but stable heart disease from clogged arteries may have less chest pain if they get a procedure to improve blood flow rather than just giving medicines a chance to help, but it ...
- The best L-arginine supplementon December 10, 2019 at 6:20 am
Doctors recommend arginine supplements to patients with certain heart conditions, like coronary heart disease, clogged arteries, and angina. Increased circulation also makes L-arginine supplements ...
- First Patient Enrolled in PROMISE II U.S. Pivotal Study of LimFlow System to Treat Chronic Limb-threatening Ischemiaon December 10, 2019 at 5:00 am
When all other therapeutic options have been exhausted and a CLTI patient is facing major amputation, the minimally-invasive LimFlow system is designed to bypass blocked arteries in the leg and ...
- Can Regular Toothbrushing Lower Risk of AFib and Heart Failure?on December 10, 2019 at 4:47 am
A major new federal trial suggests that many patients living with severely clogged arteries may be just as well off relying on medication and lifestyle interventions, such as diet and exercise.
- Civica Rx and Hikma Announce Shipments of Heparin and Seven Other Essential Injectable Medicineson December 10, 2019 at 4:04 am
Heparin is commonly prescribed for patients with significant blood clots in their lungs or clogged arteries, and patients receiving dialysis, or undergoing cardiac surgery. It is prescribed to more ...
- Medicine, diet and exercise may do more to heal your heart than stents or surgery says studyon December 9, 2019 at 3:37 pm
At the hospital, doctors found four blockages in arteries going to his heart. Some were 100 percent blocked. He was having a heart attack like so many others in his family. "My dad and his four ...
- Healthy lifestyle, meds can relieve blocked heart arterieson November 25, 2019 at 4:00 pm
A new landmark study implies that half, or even possibly 75 percent of cases previously referred for aggressive procedures to treat blocked heart arteries could have been managed with a conservative ...
- Heart: Stents Or Bypass Surgeries May Not Be Needed For Blocked Arteries: Says Latest Researchon November 17, 2019 at 11:58 pm
Heart surgeries like bypass surgeries may not be needed and patients can receive drug therapy alone, with no surgery for treating blocked arteries. According to new research from the federal ...
- Study casts doubt on angioplasty, bypass for many heart patientson November 16, 2019 at 4:00 pm
Bypass operations, angioplasty and the placement of artery-opening stents: For decades, millions of Americans have undergone these expensive, invasive procedures to help treat clogged vessels. However ...
- Surgery for Blocked Arteries Is Often Unwarranted, Researchers Findon November 16, 2019 at 11:00 am
The findings of a large federal study on bypass surgeries and stents call into question the medical care provided to tens of thousands of heart disease patients with blocked coronary arteries, ...
via Bing News