Minnesota Patent of the Month – June 2024

NeoChord, Inc., a pioneering force in cardiovascular innovation, has secured a patent for their proprietary method for repairing heart valves without the need for open-heart surgery. This method, designed for use on a beating heart, represents a significant advancement in cardiac care, minimizing trauma, reducing recovery times, and improving patient outcomes.

Traditionally, repairing heart valves required invasive procedures, such as sternotomy, which involve stopping the heart and using cardiopulmonary bypass. These methods, though effective, come with significant risks and prolonged recovery periods. NeoChord’s approach revolutionizes this process by allowing surgeons to repair heart valve leaflets through a minimally invasive intravascular approach.

Here’s how it works: A guide catheter is inserted through a vein into the heart’s right atrium, then advanced to the septum using a puncture tool. This creates a pathway to the left ventricle where the mitral valve is located. A deployment catheter is then guided to the mitral valve leaflet, where it captures and inserts a suture through the leaflet using advanced imaging techniques for precise placement.

Simultaneously, an anchor catheter is introduced to deploy an anchor device near the left ventricle, securing the suture. The tension of the suture is carefully adjusted to ensure proper valve function, critical for maintaining cardiac health. Once adjusted, the suture is locked in place using a rotating mechanism on the anchor device, effectively stabilizing the valve leaflet.

What sets NeoChord’s method apart is its ability to perform these intricate maneuvers on a beating heart, eliminating the need for cardiopulmonary bypass and reducing the risk associated with traditional open-heart procedures. This approach not only preserves heart function during surgery but also accelerates recovery times and improves overall patient comfort.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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