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IntraMon: Monitoring Medical Implants

Daniel Mullee, medical student and research assistant at OHSU

Oregon Health & Science University team, IntraMon, develops medical devices designed to monitor tubular implants and vessels within the human body. Their technology package (hardware and software) could replace costly medical procedures currently used to evaluate tubular structures such as stents.

The IntraMon team includes Dr. Younes Jahangiri, a principal investigator and assistant professor at the Dotter Institute of Interventional Radiology at OHSU. Dr. Khashayar Farsad, an assistant professor at the Dotter Institute. Daniel Mullee, a medical student and research assistant at OHSU. Dr. Sean Kohles, a research professor in the emergency medicine department at OHSU, and Dr. Rick Weitzel, an adjunct professor at OHSU.

Describe your invention?

Our device consists of three components: sensor, receiver, and software application. The sensor is a passively powered system of monitoring pressure, that is deployable in any intraluminal environment. This allows for multiple applications. The device is placed within a vessel, tubular implant, or anything that has flowed through it, by a medical professional. The pressure within the lumen can then be monitored continuously to determine patency. The receiver can either be a separate handheld device or could be a phone attachment. The software, which could be an app on your phone, then interprets the raw data and tells you how occluded the tubular implant or stent is. It is also capable of transmitting that data directly to a medical professional for clinical interpretation.

What is the specific environmental, social, or community problem your team seeks to address?

Our team is trying to address the lack of continuous monitoring of intraluminal devices in many medical and surgical applications. Tubular implants are placed in narrowed or occluded tubular structures of the body for the purpose of maintaining their patency as well as creating fluid shunt between two structures. The presence of a stent within a live tubular structure can cause new tissue growth inside the stent, also known as restenosis. Currently, the gold standard test for diagnosis of restenosis is angiography. This is an invasive and costly procedure, which requires special equipment, patient admission, and close monitoring. Overall, this has created a need for a new rapid, noninvasive, precise, and easily accessible method to detect malfunction of a conduit.

What is the market for your team’s invention?

The market for this device would include anyone who undergoes a stent or shunt placement. An estimated 17.9 million people died from CVD-related complications in 2016 alone, representing 31% of all global deaths. In 2019 cardiac stents generated 5.3 billion dollars in revenue, which is just one potential application. Our device can be used in VP shunts and peripheral artery stents as well. We plan to sell our device or company or license our technology, to major stent manufacturers. These corporations have the infrastructure in place to produce and distribute, which would give us the best chance of getting this technology in use and saving lives as soon as possible. Additionally, they have the funds required for the FDA approval process. Once our technology is patented and a final prototype is developed, we can begin forming relationships with stent manufacturers.

If your team wins InventOR, what is your plan for the prize money?

We plan on using the prize money to develop a refined prototype for testing and demonstration. This will require purchasing materials, fabrication costs, and paying for animal studies. We currently do not have any other source of funding so this money would allow us to get to the stage of development where we would feel comfortable forming a company and pursuing government grants. If we win, the prize money would be sufficient to get us off the ground.

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