Location: Southfield, MI
Sentio has developed a proprietary mapping and avoidance system to help doctors perform minimally invasive surgical procedures while avoiding injury to nerves. Its system uses mechanomyography, which works by detecting and measuring the mechanical activity in contracting muscles. And as the company points out, MMG is not subject to electrical interference and has a far greater signal-to-noise ratio compared to EMG.
The Sentio MMG is comprised of adhesive sensors that are placed on the skin at the appropriate muscle groups on the patient. When an electrical stimulus is applied near a nerve, the nerve fires and muscle contraction occurs.
The company gained FDA clearance last fall and is initially focused on the Southeast Michigan market, where it has been met with tremendous interest, according to company President and CEO Stephen Bartol, who sees the space as a rapidly growing field. Indeed, Sentio's product competes with offerings using EMG from companies like Medtronic and NuVasive.
The company was founded three years ago as Innovative Surgical Solutions, but changed its name earlier this year. While it has about 10 employees, it hopes to expand shortly. It recently opened a new R&D center in Southfield, that will focus on new technologies for nerve monitoring during surgery.
And, in keeping with its Southeast Michigan roots, Sentio's sensors came from the company that made sensors for car airbags.