Active implantable medical devices are typically enclosed in a hermetically-sealed titanium housing which provides protection of the circuitry and other components. Commonly, Grade 1 titanium is formed into the enclosure using stamping. The pretty, rounded shapes of modern pacemakers and ICDs are achieved by having two enclosure halves shallowly stamped from sheet stock material,
Image Source: Nevro’s Website Nevro Corporation (formerly NBI Development) was founded in 2006 by Dr. Konstantinos Alataris. The Menlo Park, CA company developed a pain management concept that originated at the Mayo Clinic into a spinal cord stimulation system for back and leg pain. According to Nevro, their unique stimulation waveform achieves pain relief without paresthesia or uncomfortable stimulation. Few details
Image Source: TransWorld Heart Corporation’s Website TransWorld Heart Corporation of Charlotte, NC, was founded by Dr. Charles Richardson in 2004. The company developed an implantable device intended to replace routine post-transplant heart biopsies. TransWorld’s Soul Mate implantable system analyzes 9 intramyocardial electrogram parameters recorded from 4 or 6 configurations of 2 or 3 epicardial leads to detect allograft
It has been known for quite some time that bone growth is stimulated by DC electrical currents. However, only relatively recently implantable stimulators have been developed for the application. In 1988 Biomet acquired Electrobiology Inc. (EBI) in Parsippany, NJ, a leader in bone-growth electrical stimulation and bone external fixation markets. EBI’s OsteoGen™ Bone Growth Stimulator is marketed by Biomet Inc.
BioControl Medical, Ltd. was founded in 1999 by Yossi Gross, and is based in Yehud, Israel. BioControl’s first devices were developed to treat incontinence due to overactive bladder, stress, and interstitial cystitis. In 2006 American Medical Sytems acquired an exclusive license for the use of the technology in urology, gynaecology and other pelvic health applications. The BioControl MiniatURO
BioControl Medical, Ltd. was founded in 1999 by Yossi Gross, and is based in Yehud, Israel. BioControl’s first devices were developed to treat incontinence due to overactive bladder, stress, and interstitial cystitis. In 2006 American Medical Sytems acquired an exclusive license for the use of the technology in urology, gynecology and other pelvic health applications.
Cameron Health was founded in 2000 in San Clemente, CA to develop a leadless implantable defibrillator. The device does not require a lead to be implanted into the heart. Instead, the device has a lead that is tunneled beneath the skin from the upper left chest below the level of the clavicle to the level of about
Medtronic announced at TEDMED 2010 that it is working on leadless pacemakers. Dr. Stephen Osterle, senior vice president of medicine and technology and member of Medtronic’s Executive Management Team, unveiled the device. Osterle said that physicians will be able to control the device with a smart phone.
EBR Systems, Inc., founded in 2003 and headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA, is developing the WiCS® Wireless Cardiac Stimulation technology to eliminate cardiac pacing leads, historically a major source of complications and reliability issues. The startup was spun out of research by founder Debra Echt, a former professor of medicine and a cardiologist at Vanderbilt University.
Nanostim is an early-stage AIMD company in Milpitas, CA that is developing a pacemaker that can be implanted inside the heart through a catheter. The tiny device is attached directly to the heart, eliminating the need for leads. In May 2011 Nanostim announced that St. Jude Medical had made a substantial investment in the company. The company is operating in
Image Credit: University of Rochester Nuclear energy cells that converted the impact of the β-particles on a p-n junction were developed in the 1970s. One example was CCC’s atomic pacemaker, which was powered by a promethium-147 McDonell-Douglas Betacel 400. Lately, BetaBatt Inc. of Houston, TX licensed beta-voltaic technology developed at the University of Rochester to develop an
My friend, Dr. Alain Ripart – the Chief Scientific Officer at Ela Medical (now part of Sorin) showed me this interesting contraption from his personal collection. It is an experimental glucose-powered pacemaker developed in the 1970s. It generated electricity by acquiring its fuel (glucose) directly from a living body to generate enough current to charge two NiCd cells
Barouh Berkovits at American Optical Co of Boston, MA designed the first “Demand Pacemaker” – what we now know as a VVI pacemaker. As other companies in the 1970s, American Optical developed a nuclear-battery-powered version of their pacemaker. American Optical used a 3Ci Pu-238 Radioisotope Thermal Generator (RTG) produced by Fred Hittman’s Hittman Nuclear Development Corp. (Model NB-200). It consisted of a tiny 8 Ci
An isotopic thermoelectric generator was developed in the US by Numec Corporation under a contract from the US Atomic Energy Commission and sold for $3,200 (back in 1974). The thermopile consisted of doped bismuth telluride pairs that were placed in a parallel/series arrangement to generate some 300 μW of power to run this Arco Medical
In the late 1960s Medtronic – today the largest manufacturer of implantable medical devices in the world – teamed up with Alcatel, a French company, to design a nuclear-powered pacemaker. The first human implant of the device took place in Paris in 1970. The nuclear battery in the Medtronic device used a tiny 2.5 Ci