A blog about what is new (and old) in the world of active implantable medical devices 

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VeriTeQ Acquisition Corporation Acquires Implantable, FDA-Cleared VeriChip Technology

 

VeriMed's Human-Implantable VeriChip RFID

Image Credit: VeriMed

On January 17, 2012, VeriTeQ Acquisition Corporation of Delray Beach, FL announced that it acquired the VeriChip implantable RFID technology and its related Health Link personal health record from PositiveID Corporation. Read more…

 
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DF-4 Connectors for Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators Enter Use in the US

DF-4 Connector for implantable cardioverter defibrillators

Image Credit: St. Jude Medical

The DF-4 Connector was recently introduced by a joint group of CRM companies, physicians, and regulatory agencies as a way of easing the implant of ICDs by reducing defibrillation connections from three to one and by minimizing the number of set screws.  Prior to the development of the DF-4, traditional high-voltage connector systems required up to three connections. Read more…
 
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Boston Scientific’s Active Implantable Sales for 2011: CRM Down 7%, Neuromodulation Up 10%

Boston Scientific Logo

Today Boston Scientific Corporation announced financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2011.  Summarizing the AIMD data:

  • On a constant-currency basis, Q4 2011 CRM sales were $482M compared to $564M in Q4 2010, or  down 15%
  • On a constant-currency basis, 2011 CRM sales were $2,087M compared to $2,180M in Q4 2010, or  down 7%
  • On a constant-currency basis, Q4 2011 Neuromodulation sales were $91M compared to $86M in Q4 2010, or  up 6%
  • On a constant-currency basis, Q4 2011 CRM sales were $336M compared to $304M in Q4 2010, or  up 10%

Click here for the news release.

 

 

 
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Remon Medical’s Implantable Pulmonary Pressure Sensor (1997-2007)

Remon Medical (now Boston Scientific) implantable pulmonary artery pressure sensor

Remon Medical Technologies, Ltd. was founded in 1997 in Caesarea, Israel to develop implantable, wireless pressure sensors.

Remon developed an implantable hemodynamic monitor, which allowed on-demand, non-invasive, leadless self-monitoring of pulmonary artery pressure by the patient at home. ImPressure devices were placed in the pulmonary artery, and transmitted pressure readings to a hand-held monitor.  It was hoped that the system would provide early warning of the need for treatment, avoiding hospitalization and deterioration in the patient’s condition. Read more…

 
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Purdue University’s Concept for Music-Powered Implantable Devices

 

Bass-driven cantilever power source for implantable devices developed by Purdue University

Image Credit: Purdue University

A group of researchers at Purdue University led by Prof. Babak Ziaie developed a vibrating cantilever that is excited by an external bass source from 200-500 Hz. The excitation causes the cantilever to vibrate, generating electricity and storing a charge in a capacitor.

Although playing tones within a certain frequency range would be ideal, the group concentrated on the use of music as an excitation source.  According to the researchers,  “a plain tone is a very annoying sound.  We thought it would be novel and also more aesthetically pleasing to use music.” Read more…

 
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SMSI® Implantable Glucose Sensor

SMSI implantable glucose sensor Sensors for Medicine and Science, Inc. (SMSI)  of Germantown, MD was founded in 1997 to develop chemical sensing technologies based on fluorescence sensing.

SMSI® is now developing an implantable glucose sensor that is designed to automatically measure interstitial glucose every few minutes. The sensor implant communicates wirelessly with a small external reader, allowing it to track the rate of change of glucose levels and warn the user of impending hypo- or hyperglycemia. According to SMSI, the target operational life of the sensor implant will be 6-12 months, after which it would be replaced. Read more…

 
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OT: We Received the First Copies of Our New Book!

Exploring Quantum Physics Through Hands-On Projects by David and Shanni PrutchiToday we received the first two copies of the book that I wrote with my 16-year-old daughter Shanni!  It is a do-it-yourself book on Experimental Quantum Physics, and was published by John Wiley & Sons.

From the back cover:

Build an intuitive understanding of the principles behind quantum mechanics through practical construction and replication of original experiments.

With easy-to-acquire, low-cost materials and basic knowledge of algebra and trigonometry, Exploring Quantum Physics through Hands-on Projects takes readers step by step through the process of re-creating scientific experiments that played an essential role in the creation and development of quantum mechanics.

Presented in near chronological order—from discoveries of the early twentieth century to new material on entanglement—this book includes question- and experiment-filled chapters on:

  • Light as a Wave
  • Light as Particles
  • Atoms and Radioactivity
  • The Principle of Quantum Physics
  • Wave/Particle Duality
  • The Uncertainty Principle
  • Schrödinger (and his Zombie Cat)
  • Entanglement

From simple measurements of Planck’s constant to testing violations of Bell’s inequalities using entangled photons, Exploring Quantum Physics through Hands-on Projects not only immerses readers in the process of quantum mechanics, it gives them insight into the history of the field—how the theories and discoveries apply to our world not only today . . . but also tomorrow.

By immersing readers in groundbreaking experiments that can be performed at home, school, or in the lab, this first-ever, hands-on book successfully demystifies the world of quantum physics for all who seek to explore it—from science enthusiasts and undergrad physics students to practicing physicists and engineers.”

For more information, please visit our d.i.y.  Modern/Quantum Physics projects website at:  www.diyPhysics.com

 
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St. Jude Medical’s Active Implantable Sales for 2011: CRM Down 3%, Neuromodulation Up 8%

St. Jude Medical today reported sales and net earnings for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2011.    From the press release:

Cardiac Rhythm Management

Total CRM sales, which include implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) and pacemaker products, were$728 million for the fourth quarter of 2011, a 4 percent decrease compared to the fourth quarter of 2010.   After adjusting for the impact of foreign currency, total CRM sales decreased 6 percent. Total CRM product sales for the full-year 2011 were $3.034 billion, essentially equal to 2010. On a currency neutral basis, total CRM sales declined 3 percent from the prior year. Read more…

 
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Biophan’s Implantable Biothermal Power Source

 

Implantable biothermal power source generates electricity for implantable device from body heat

Image Credit: Biophan

Today I was going through some papers and found a 2005 brochure for Biophan’s implantable biothermal source – a 3 mm-thick power source for implantable devices capable of generating electricity from body heat.  This power source was being developed by Biophan in collaboration with the NASA Ames Research Center for Nanotechnology.

 The device is covered by U.S. Patent No. 6,640,137, “Biothermal power source for implantable devices” to Stuart G. MacDonald.   It is a power source based on the Seebeck Effect, which allows electrical energy to be generated by heat crossing and array of n and p junctions of a specialized semiconductor.  Biophan and NASA developed materials that matched the size, shape and number of semiconductor junctions to develop sufficient energy to power a pacemaker despite the very slight temperature difference between the body and the subcutaneous layer.  Read more…

 
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Elema-Schoenander and the Very First Human Implants of a Pacemaker in Sweden (1958) and Uruguay (1960)

First pacemaker to be implanted in a human patient (1958)

This is a picture of the first pacemaker to be implanted in a human patient.  It was developed by Dr. Rune Elmqvist (1906–1996), a physician by training, but working for the Swedish company Elema-Schonander as an engineer.   Dr. Elmqvist  developed the device in cooperation of Åke Senning, senior physician and cardiac surgeon at the Karolinska University Hospital in Solna, Sweden. Read more…

 
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“Data Block” Percutaneous Implantable Electrical Connector

Data Block produced by Intermedics for in-house animal studies

Data Block implantable percutaneous electrical connector produced by Intermedics for in-house animal studies. Device accommodated two IS-1 bipolar leads and had an IROX-coated "can" electrode.

The development of medical devices, drugs, and treatments depends on accurately retrieving clinical data from implanted animals. Implantable data collecting and sensing devices provide one way to retrieve these data. These device often include sensors or electrodes which must be implanted within the subject in order to provide clinicians with access to the sensed information.

Retrieving data from implanted sensors poses a potential problem since data frequently must be retrieved on numerous different occasions and over an extended period of time. If surgery is required each time data is retrieved, the subject may be overly exposed to stress, trauma, or risk of infection. In order to develop and test cardiac pacemakers and defibrillators, for example, clinicians need to monitor electrical activity of the subject’s heart. One way to monitor this activity is to surgically implant one end of a lead to the heart. The other end of the lead may be left subcutaneously (i.e., under the skin) or transcutaneously (i.e., through the skin). In the former instance, access to the electrode may require an invasive procedure, such as surgery. In the latter instance, prolonged and chronic exposure of the electrode through the skin may cause discomfort, lead to infection, or cause damaging stress on the electrode. Read more…

 
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MicroCHIPS’ Implantable Drug Delivery Device for the Treatment of Osteoporosis

MicroCHIPS implantable drug-delivery device for the treatment of osteoporosis

Image Credit: MicroCHIPS

MicroCHIPS was founded in 1999 as an MIT spinoff to develop implantable sensors and drug-delivery devices.

MicroCHIPS’ drug-delivery technology is based on proprietary reservoir arrays that are used to store potent drugs within the body for long periods of time.  Individual device reservoirs can be opened on demand or on a predetermined schedule to precisely control drug release or sensor activation. Read more…

 
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Neuromed’s TIME Battery- and RF-Powered Totally Implantable Multichannel Spinal Cord Stimulator (ca. 1988)

Neuromed dual-power multichannel neurostimulator 1988

Neuromed TIME IPG on loan from Daniel Villamil's collection.

Neuromed was formed in 1980 with an initial capitalization of $150,000 by Bill Borkan through money obtained when Borkan`s parents took out a second mortgage on their home. Borkan’s desire to help his sister, Jennie, a cerebral palsy patient, got him started in neurostimulation technology. In the next few years, Neuromed developed and marketed a RF-powered implantable spinal cord stimulator, along with its external radio frequency transmitter.

Throughout the 1980s, development of more advanced devices was ongoing at Neuromed. My friend Daniel Villamil from CCC Medical has in his collection one of these more modern units, which he lent to me for photographing. The “Total Implantable Multichannel Electronics” (TIME) spinal cord stimulator shown in this picture went into clinical trials around 1988. This was a device that was internally powered by its own battery. However, it could also be RF-powered after the eventual battery failure. Read more…

 
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Crazy Pacemaker Hack: d.i.y. High-Speed Photography

High speed photography by David Prutchi using pacemaker as interval timer

This is a hack that combines three of my favorite passions: pacemakers, photography, and coffee!

I took this photograph by feeding the output of an infrared barrier to the atrium input of an old DDD pacemaker, setting an appropriate AV delay, and using the ventricular output to trigger a camera flash (via a optoisolator).  In a darkened room, I opened my camera’s shutter for 2 seconds.  I then let one drop of milk fall through the infrared barrier, starting the AV delay in VAT mode.  The flash then fires as the drop enters the coffee in the cup, freezing the action. Read more…

 
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St. Jude’s (ANS) Rechargeable Spinal Cord Stimulators Eon and Eon Mini

St Jude Medical Eon and Eon Mini Spinal Cord Stimulators

In 2005, St. Jude Medical purchased Advanced Neuromodulation Systems (ANS) in Plano, Texas.  ANS had developed a number of spinal cord stimulation IPGs that were either externally powered via inductive link, internally powered by a primary cell, or internally powered by a transcutaneously rechargeable lithium-ion cell.

Today, the most popular St. Jude spinal cord stimulators are the rechargeable 42 cc Eon and 18 cc Eon mini neurostimulators.

They are constant-current devices with a rated longevity of 10 years. Current through up to 16 electrodes is programmable between 0-25.5 mA with a pulse width of 50-500 µs and a frequency between 2-1200 Hz. Read more…

 
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