Kansas Patent of the Month – May 2021

Transcather aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is a risky procedure with high risk of stroke. As the replacement valve is deployed, it crushes the old valve, releasing a shower of embolic debris which can be swept into the arteries and head towards the brain. There have been some attempts at creating a device which will prevent the debris from moving down the aorta. One such device uses a shape-memory stent and a filtration membrane which helps to limit contact with the aorta. It’s structure has had great results but has some major drawbacks. It has a drawstring which regularly becomes entangled with the stent, the filtration membrane has been seen to temporarily impede blood flow, and the retrieval method requires incredible precision to prevent aortic damage. Epic Medical Concepts & Innovations, Inc. have designed a new embolic protection and filtration device (EFD) which removes these limitations.

Their device also has a drawstring to collapse the EFD and a filter membrane. The stent is made of a mesh, collapsible structure. The drawstring is fed through the structure and through eyelets on both ends which help to maintain their position. The eyelets prevent tangling of the drawstring with the stent or itself. The membrane is attached to the stent on the upstream edge, removing pockets for emboli buildup and helping to maintain blood flow.

Retrieval requires a catheter that pulls the drawstring in, collapsing the stent. Epic Medical Concepts have developed an accompanying catheter that accounts for the increasing length of the stent as it is collapsed and drawn into the catheter. This compensation prevents aortic damage during removal. By addressing these issues seen in previous EFDs, Epic Medical Concepts have improved the ability to provide embolic protection during TAVR surgeries, reducing the risk of stroke.

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