Massachusetts Patent of the Month – July 2023

InfraReDx, Inc., a leading innovator in intravascular ultrasound imaging technology, has developed high resolution intravascular ultrasound imaging (IVUS) capabilities for the assessment of coronary artery disease. This state-of-the-art system combines pulse compression and frequency compounding techniques to deliver unparalleled contrast resolution and spatial resolution, opening new possibilities in the field of interventional cardiology.

Traditional IVUS systems have limitations in assessing certain types of plaques and characterizing stent healing due to their inadequate spatial resolution. However, InfraReDx’s innovative solution addresses these challenges by increasing the transducer frequency while maintaining sufficient contrast resolution. By utilizing multi-frequency or broadband pulser signals, the system achieves exceptional clarity in visualizing vulnerable plaques, neointima, stent struts, and other pathological features that were previously difficult to observe.

At the heart of this breakthrough technology is InfraReDx’s proprietary pulser, which employs a binary to bipolar converter and two 3-bit digital-to-analog converters (DACs). The pulser selectively converts specific digital outputs of the binary to bipolar converter into analog outputs and amplifies them using dedicated voltage amplifiers. These amplified analog outputs are then combined through a transformer to generate the multi-frequency or broadband pulser signal. Additionally, a low-pass filter is incorporated to minimize second and third harmonics, enhancing the quality of the pulser signal.

The pulser is seamlessly integrated with an imaging assembly comprising an ultrasonic transducer. This assembly is designed to emit ultrasound energy towards the target blood vessel and capture the reflected ultrasound energy. To further optimize image quality, the system includes a receiver that decomposes the reflected energy into individual subband signals, processes them individually, and reconstitutes them into high-resolution imaging signals representing the target vessel.

The innovative capabilities of InfraReDx’s high-resolution IVUS system offer a significant advancement in diagnosing coronary artery disease and guiding interventional procedures. By accurately visualizing thin-cap fibroatheromas and assessing stent apposition, clinicians can make informed decisions for patient care and improve outcomes. By using both non-linear or linear combination of subband signals, the system ensures reliable segmentation of the blood-filled lumen from the intimal plaque, mitigating potential errors in automatic segmentation algorithms.

InfraReDx’s high-resolution IVUS system not only surpasses the limitations of existing commercial systems but also avoids the need for complex co-registration between multiple images. With its enhanced contrast resolution, spatial resolution, and cost-effective design, this technology paves the way for more precise diagnoses and interventions, ultimately improving patient care in the field of interventional cardiology.

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