The Catalyst

Spotlight in the Lab: New patent awarded

What

Inventors Dieter Haemmerich, Ph.D., and J. Phillip Saul, M.D., of The Children’s Hospital of South Carolina, have been awarded a patent for a new system that determines how much tissue will be destroyed prior to performing a cardiac radiofrequency catheter ablation procedure.

Division of Pediatrics’ Dr. Dieter Haemmerich, left, and postdoctoral fellow Dr. Chris Rossmann demonstrate a recently patented device. Not pictured is co-inventor Dr. Phil Saul, director of the MUSC Division of Pediatric Cardiology.
Division of Pediatrics’ Dr. Dieter Haemmerich, left, and postdoctoral fellow Dr. Chris Rossmann demonstrate a recently patented device. Not pictured is co-inventor Dr. Phil Saul, director of the MUSC Division of Pediatric Cardiology.

Catheter ablation is a safe, low-invasive and effective therapy used to treat patients with a wide range of cardiac arrhythmias from atrial flutter and ventricular arrhythmias to supraventricular tachycardia. The new method allows clinicians to perform more safe and predictable treatments.

The Clinical Need

Thermal ablation uses heating or freezing to locally destroy undesired tissue regions. While there are various clinical applications, one of the focus areas of Haemmerich’s lab is the treatment of cardiac arrhythmia, particularly in pediatric patients.

During the procedure, a medical image-guided catheter is inserted into a patient’s heart and radiofrequency energy is applied to destroy tissue that causes irregular heartbeats. The new method will allow safer treatments for children and is particularly valuable for treatments close to tissue regions in the heart where sensitive structures are nearby.

The development of safer treatment methods and devices for irregular heart rhythms via ablation has been an area where this lab has made clinically relevant contributions.

Patents and Translational Research

Haemmerich and Saul’s goal is the translation of lab research into clinical use via patenting a new method and licensing the patent to a large company.

This method was submitted to the U.S. Patent Office by the MUSC Foundation for Research Development and awarded to Haemmerich and Saul (US 8419725: “Method and devices for cardiac radiofrequency catheter ablation”). This new method is particularly valuable when treating close to tissue regions in the heart where sensitive structures are nearby.

Other

For information on MUSC’s Thermal Ablation Research Lab, visit http://www.musc.edu/ablation.

July 31, 2013
 
 
 

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