For patients an with aortic aneurysm, there’s now a safer, more accurate way to guard against a life-threatening rupture. Doctors can implant a wireless device, developed by Georgia Tech start-up CardioMEMS, to monitor the affected area of the aorta. The device detects even the slightest change in pressure within the aneurysm, a warning sign of potential trouble.
The implant device, called EndoSure, is the first sensor of its kind that can be implanted into a patient with abdominal aortic aneurysm – a weak area in the part of the aorta that runs from the heart to the abdomen.
CardioMEMS is using its biotechnology to develop implants for patients with other serious medical conditions, including congestive heart failure and hypertension.
About 2 million Americans have abdominal aortic aneurysms. If an aneurysm ruptures, the patient can bleed to death within minutes. Doctors can treat the problem by inserting a stent to redirect blood, but if the stent fails, the results can be catastrophic.
Because of this risk, doctors must regularly monitor the stent to ensure it is still working properly. Unfortunately, the traditional method of testing – CT scans – is expensive and time consuming. CT scans may miss small tears in a stent, and they expose patients to radiation and to dyes that are toxic to the kidneys.
The EndoSure sensor won the Frost & Sullivan Product Innovation of the Year Award in 2006. The sensor is the first FDA-approved implantable pressure sensor that combines wireless and microelectromechanical system (MEMS) technology.
GRA invested in CardioMEMS early on through VentureLab. CardioMEMS’s platform technology was developed in part from the research of Dr. Mark Allen at Georgia Tech.
CardioMEMS has raised more than $30 million in outside capital investment. The company received a 2006 “Deal of the Year” award from Georgia Biomedical Partnership in recognition of its contribution to the state’s bioscience industry. In addition, CardioMEMS employs 100 people in its Midtown Atlanta office.