Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Technologies at Harvard

To repair damage and defects within a heart, doctors currently use stopped-heart and open-chest surgeries. These procedures are highly invasive and incur a significant risk to the patient from neurological impairment to possible death. The “Motion Compensating Catheter for Beating Heart Surgery” (#3719) a device developed at Harvard, now enables surgery to be performed within a heart while it is beating with the same accuracy as in open-chest surgeries.

The technology is a fast motion compensating mechanical device using image guidance and a sophisticated software package that is able to anticipate and react to the rapid movement of the cardiac tissue. The device can either be a handheld tool or it can be a standard cardiac catheter, enabling the surgeon to perform very delicate surgeries such as mitral valve repair without the need for heart stopping techniques. The technology takes advantage of real-time 3-D ultrasound images and a Radon transform-based algorithm for processing.

In another technology developed at Harvard “A Second Skin Pressure Sensor for Large Area, Form-fitting Wearable Applications” (#3788) a flexible form-fitting pressure sensor capable of registering location and intensity of pressure acts as a “second-skin” to create a range of never before possible body monitoring applications. The sensors can improve motion for use in physical therapy and long term healing, can be used in wearable sensors, in peripheral input devices, special effects hardware, and for battle field monitoring.

The sensors can be built into a new class of “smart” orthotic braces to give real-time feedback based on need. When used as a peripheral input device, these sensors can provide body movement data that can be translated into commands.

Both available technologies have U.S. Utility Patent Applications pending.

For additional information on Harvard Case #3719 go to www.techtransfer.harvard.edu/technologies/tech.php?case=3719 and for Harvard Case #3788, go to www.techtransfer.harvard.edu/technologies/tech.php?case=3788 or contact Sam Liss, Director of Business Development at (617) 495-4371.