Out of Raleigh, NC, we learn of InnerPulse, Inc, manufacturer of the coolest looking ICD on the block (they should not be confused with these guys). As you can see from the picture, the traditional hockey puck design is out, in favor of a form factor that can be delivered via the femoral artery…
InnerPulse co-founders Dr. Richard Stack, a cardiologist and professor emeritus at Duke University, and Bill Starling came up with the idea of implanting defibrillators through a large blood vessel in the groin.
The procedure could be performed in 10 minutes by specialists who use the same point of entry to insert stents that keep arteries from clogging and balloon catheters that clean clogged arteries.
The way Ransbury [Terry Ransbury, a biochemical engineer with InnerPulse – ed.] saw it, the challenge was to change the form. Goodbye, hockey puck.
To solve the problem, Ransbury bought Play-Doh, formed a hockey puck and then rolled it into a snake the thickness of a pencil. But to find room for all the batteries, microchips and capacitors would have required a snake several feet in length — too long to fit into the human body. So, Ransbury started calculating.
The next day, after about two hours of sleep, he met Stack for lunch in Chapel Hill, N.C., and placed a foot-long Play-Doh snake on the table.
All of the electronic components would have to be redesigned and built to order. But the reshaped defibrillator would be much easier to implant and couldn’t be felt by patients.
They’re moving out of animal trials on to human trials in Europe shortly, with a predicted US launch sometime around 2010.
There’s more in the article by Savine Vollmer of the Raleigh News & Observer…