Minnesota Patent of the Month – November 2023
Pulmonary diseases, like pneumonia, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), affect tens of millions of people in the U.S. alone. Treatments, like radiofrequency (RF) ablation, are commonly used to treat target regions within the airway wall while protecting superficial tissues. Nuvaira, Inc., a medical device development company, has patented their design for catheters that improve the efficacy of RF treatment options.
The dNerva Catheter is designed with a conduit and balloon which inflates to circulate coolant through the catheter. The coolant brings the electrode in contact with the airway wall and, once good contact is made, RF energy is activated. Each bronchus is treated four times, creating a complete circumferential ablation.
The system isn’t just innovative in its construction—it’s intelligently designed to minimize damage during deployment. By coupling with a delivery device such as a bronchoscope or endoscope, this system is streamlined to ease insertion and reduce resistance, offering an easier pathway through the working channel of the device. With an easier insertion, friction is minimized and the potential risk of damage to the ablation assembly or the airway is also reduced.
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