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U of Michigan licenses device that makes it easier for surgeons to connect arteries

By Jesse Schwartz
Published: March 14th, 2018

Researchers at the University of Michigan (U-M) have developed a surgical device to ease the process of connecting arteries during complicated procedures, and the TTO there recently inked a license with medical device giant Baxter International.

The “arterial everter” device resembles a thin silicone pen with a flexible steel spine. A recent study showed that, when used as an accessory to existing devices, the invention could turn a 20-minute process to reconnect an artery into a five-minute one, and without the need for a surgical microscope. This is especially remarkable given that surgeons often have to reconnect more than one artery per procedure.

“If I can shave off an hour from my operative time, patients stand to benefit from being under anesthesia for a shorter period of time, and the health system as a whole benefits because we are spending less time in the OR,” says Adeyiza Momoh, an associate professor of surgery at U-M.

The technology underwent some of its development through the Coulter Translational Research Partnership Program, which provides funding and expertise to help turn U-M innovations into successful commercial products. Recently, the university’s Office of Technology Transfer licensed the arterial everter to Baxter, which plans to incorporate it into a line of products marketed under its subsidiary company Synovis Micro Companies Alliance.

Synovis’ GEM Microvascular Anastomotic Coupler system works well in connecting blood vessels in veins, but isn’t equipped to address the more muscular walls of arteries. The company plans to use the U-M device to help surgeons spread the thicker arterial walls over the rings of the GEM coupler in order to connect arteries. Baxter is currently seeking regulatory approvals to use the device in surgeries.

“We are actively looking for technology partnerships to bring to market innovative solutions that solve challenges in the operating room,” says Michael Campbell, vice president of Baxter’s microsurgery business. “We are excited to work with the experts at the University of Michigan and license this promising new technology that could lead to a meaningful impact for microsurgeons.”

Bryce Pilz, director of licensing at the U-M Office of Technology Transfer, comments, “The everter is an example of how the entrepreneurial ecosystem at U-M supports biomedical innovation. Projects at U-M benefit from schools that are top in their respective areas, have great researchers and have also invested heavily in commercializing research.”

Source: EurekAlert!

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