Angioplasty is a common procedure during which an obstructed blood vessel is mechanically widened. However, despite the 1 million-plus angioplasties performed each year, there are still dangers. For example, fatty deposits can become dislodged and enter the blood stream, potentially blocking other arteries resulting in strokes or heart attacks.
But Irish researchers at the University of Limerick say they have come up with a device that can boost the success rate of the procedure. And the tech has now been licensed to Galway-based Clada Medical.
The device, as TopNews Arab Emirates notes, is a combination of angioplasty balloon and embolic protection technologies. So, what could have caught Clada's eye? Well, it could be the device's dual-route flow, according to The Engineer. The device features a hole through the middle that permits regular blood flow, while a second route allows the balloon to stretch the arterial walls and catch any breakaway plaque. Furthermore, patients benefit because the angioplasty balloon can be fully inflated in the artery for a longer period of time (currently, balloons are inflated four seconds, deflated, then inflated again). "This will increase the efficiency of the angioplasty procedure and offers significant potential as a platform for drug-device combinations," explains Dr. Michael Walsh, principal investigator and lead inventor.
For its part, Clada has expertise in balloon mold manufacturing and custom balloon/catheter design, so it should be unsurprising that it found the technology so intriguing. "The application of the UL invention to perfusion balloon technology is very important for the future of our company," says CEO Ray Blowick. "Our commercial strategy includes growing our company through the development and [licensing] of new technologies which will lead to new jobs and increased exports in this important sector for Irish industry."