Mayo Clinic in Minnesota

Rochester, MN, United States

Mayo Clinic in Minnesota

Rochester, MN, United States
SEARCH FILTERS
Time filter
Source Type

News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

A patchwork of state laws creates a labyrinth that can make it confusing to navigate incapacitated patients' medical wishes. Without clear national standards, the problem may worsen as the nation's 75 million baby boomers continue to age, according to medical ethics research published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. "Decisions about withdrawing or withholding life-sustaining care are incredibly emotional and challenging," said Erin Sullivan DeMartino, MD, a pulmonary and critical care medicine physician at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota who led the study as part of a fellowship with the University of Chicago's MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics. "But when there is ambiguity about who is responsible for decision-making, it adds much more stress to that moment." Fewer than 30 percent of Americans have "advance directives" or legal documents outlining their treatment preferences that can also grant someone power to make medical decisions on their behalf. The documents are often used when a patient is unconscious, incapacitated or unable to speak for himself and can dictate how to treat - or not treat -- anything from a minor illness to a life-threatening injury. On average, 40 percent of hospitalized adults can't make their own medical decisions. In some intensive care units, that figure skyrockets to 90 percent. "We have medical technology we didn't have 50 years ago, so we have a whole group of people who - transiently or sometimes permanently -- can't communicate with us and can't participate in their own life-and-death decisions," DeMartino said. For patients without advance directives, most states have laws dictating that medical decisions fall to someone else -- typically a spouse, parent, or child. But the legal surrogate may not always be someone who understands the patient's specific values and wishes. That presents both ethical and health care policy problems, researchers said. DeMartino and her team reviewed laws in 50 states and the District of Columbia to compile what's thought to be the first comprehensive analysis of the country's medical decision-making statutes. Their examination revealed a complex, conflicting and often confusing system that poses barriers to "safeguarding of patients' choices in their most vulnerable moments," according to the study. The inconsistencies spanned topics that are both basic and complex. For example, 30 states require "alternate decision makers" to demonstrate an ability to engage in complex medical decisions, but none explain how to assess that ability. Only thirty-five states have what researchers call a "surrogacy ladder" establishing a hierarchy for who gets to make medical decisions in the absence of a durable power of attorney for health care, but these vary widely in regards what sorts of decisions a surrogate can actually make. In addition, some states included countless details for what constitutes an appropriate decision-maker, listing everything from frequency of someone's contact with a patient to their availability to meet with clinicians in person, to their familiarity with a patient's values and religious beliefs. Other states don't mention anything aside from requiring decision makers to be an adult. (The states even had conflicting definitions of "adult.") While it's unclear whether this variation in statutes impacts clinical care, the research team said one thing is certain: disputes about medical treatment are happening on a regular basis inside hospitals and hospice programs and there's no national standard or benchmark to guide families or physicians. "One important message from this study is that, in the absence of a clearly identified spokesperson, the decision-making process for incapacitated patients may vary widely depending on where they live," said Daniel B. Kramer, MD, MPH, a cardiac electrophysiologist at the Richard A. and Susan F. Smith Center for Outcomes Research in Cardiology and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, who was the study's senior author. "The next steps will be to study how this variability plays out in practice, and whether specific kinds of treatment decisions, such as withdrawing life-sustaining therapy or mental health interventions, actually turn out differently in different states due to the way these laws are written." Four of the paper's nine authors are affiliated with UChicago's MacLean Center, which pioneered the formal study of clinical medical ethics in the early 1980s. The center runs the world's largest clinical medical ethics fellowship for health care providers. "This study continues the MacLean Center's longstanding mission of examining critical issues in clinical medicine through research and training," said Mark Siegler, MD, MACP, an internist at the University of Chicago who directs the MacLean Center. "As medical ethicists - and practicing health care providers -- we wanted to provide a comprehensive resource to help guide patients, families, and other health care providers who are trying to resolve complicated ethical dilemmas." In addition to DeMartino, Kramer and Siegler, other authors of Who Decides When A Patient Can't? Statues On Alternate Decision Makers include: David M. Dudzinski, MD, JD, from Massachusetts General Hospital; Cavan K. Doyle, JD, LLM, of the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago; Beau P. Sperry, of Mayo Clinic; Sarah E. Gregory of the Beazley Institute for Health Law and Policy at Loyola University Chicago; Daniel P. Sulmasy, MD, PhD, of the Pellegrino Center for Clinical Bioethics and Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown


News Article | April 5, 2017
Site: www.techtimes.com

Diagnostic errors are no laughing matter as they may lead to serious threats to the life of the patient. A new study suggests that most patients, analyzed with serious health issues, are initially misdiagnosed. The study, conducted by the researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, reveals that most patients who went for a second opinion saw a change in the results of their original diagnosis. For the study, the researchers reviewed reports of 286 patients who visited primary health care providers from 2009 to 2010. Only 12 percent of those who went for the second round of diagnosis at the Mayo Clinic were found to have been given the correct diagnosis at the first instance. By comparison, 66 percent had a marginally altered diagnosis, whereas a fifth were told they suffered from a different medical condition. The study shared that roughly 21 percent, or 62 cases, showed that the second diagnosis report was "distinctly different" from the initial one. Nearly 12 percent, or 36 cases, had the same diagnosis as the initial assessment. In the remaining 188 cases, the diagnosis reflected that the first assessment was partly correct, but it became refined during the second analysis. According to a 2015 report from the National Academy of Medicine, maximum individuals will get a late or incorrect diagnosis at some juncture in their lives. Occasionally, this may lead to serious consequences. The report gave the example of an estimate where nearly 12 million, or 5 percent adults, who sought outpatient care, were diagnosed incorrectly each year. In 2016, a study published by the John Hopkins University noted that wrong diagnosis, or medical error, was the third leading cause of death in the United States each year, behind only cancer and cardiac diseases. James M. Naessens, a professor at the Mayo Clinic, who led the new study, feels that diagnostic error is an area which requires more research. "The second opinion is a good approach for certain patients to figure out what's there and to keep costs down," noted Naessens. For a patient diagnosed with deadly diseases like cancer or other ailments, which may require surgery, one must always stay safe side and opt for a second diagnosis. "Diagnosis is extremely hard. There are 10,000 diseases and only 200 to 300 symptoms," shared Mark L. Graber, a senior fellow at the research institute RTI International and founder of the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine. Graber, who was not involved in the current study, added that even doctors are human and can make mistakes like everybody else. The study's results have been published in the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


MINNEAPOLIS, Feb. 20, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- BioSig Technologies, Inc. (OTCQB:BSGM), a medical device company developing the PURE EP(TM) System, a proprietary platform designed to address an unmet technology need for the $4 billion electrophysiology (EP) marketplace, announced that the manuscript entitled, “Novel Electrophysiology Signal Recording System Enables Specific Visualization of Purkinje Network and Other High-Frequency Signals” published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC): Clinical Electrophysiology is in the top 5 most read, discussed and shared articles in 2016. BioSig Executive Chairman, Kenneth Londoner stated, “BioSig is very honored to have this article recognized by the Clinical Electrophysiology community. We have paid special focus on EP signals which are difficult to detect in today’s practice; and we are committed to continuing efforts toward our goal of improving upon diagnoses and ablation treatments for patients with complex arrhythmias.” Please visit link to Top Read Articles in JACC 2016. About BioSig Technologies BioSig Technologies is a medical device company developing a proprietary technology platform designed to improve the $4 billion electrophysiology (EP) marketplace (www.biosigtech.com). Led by a proven management team and a veteran, independent Board of Directors, Minneapolis-based BioSig Technologies is preparing to commercialize its PURE EP(TM) System. BioSig’s technology has been developed to address an unmet need in a large and growing market. The PURE EP System is a novel cardiac signal acquisition and display system which is engineered to assist electrophysiologists in clinical decision making during procedures to diagnose and treat patients with abnormal heart rates and rhythms. BioSig’s main goal is to deliver technology to improve upon catheter ablation treatments for the prevalent and deadly arrhythmias, Atrial Fibrillation and Ventricular Tachycardia. Data from the 2016 HRI Global Opportunities in Medical Devices & Diagnostics report shows the global Electrophysiology (EP) market revenues will grow nearly 10% annually, from currently $4 billion to approximately $6 billion by 2020 with accompanying procedure growth close to 10% annually, from 865,000 patients in 2015 to 1,350,000 in 2020. BioSig has partnered with Minnetronix on technology development and is working toward FDA 510(k) clearance and CE Mark for the PURE EP System. The Company has achieved proof of concept validation and tested its prototype at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Cardiac Arrhythmia Center, and has performed pre-clinical studies at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and Mount Sinai Hospital in NY. The company continues to perform research and development studies in the form of an Advanced Research Program at Mayo Clinic which began in June 2016. Other prestigious cardiac arrhythmia centers including Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute and UH Case Medical Center in Cleveland also play an important role in the PURE EP technology.


Minneapolis, MN, Feb. 21, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- BioSig Technologies, Inc. (OTCQB: BSGM), a medical device company developing the PURE EP(TM) System, a proprietary platform designed to address an unmet technology need for the $4 billion electrophysiology (EP) marketplace, announced that the manuscript entitled, “Novel Electrophysiology Signal Recording System Enables Specific Visualization of Purkinje Network and Other High-Frequency Signals” published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC): Clinical Electrophysiology is in the top 5 most read, discussed and shared articles in 2016. BioSig Executive Chairman, Kenneth Londoner stated, “BioSig is very honored to have this article recognized by the Clinical Electrophysiology community. We have paid special focus on EP signals which are difficult to detect in today’s practice; and we are committed to continuing efforts toward our goal of improving upon diagnoses and ablation treatments for patients with complex arrhythmias.” Please visit link to Top Read Articles in JACC 2016 BioSig Technologies is a medical device company developing a proprietary technology platform designed to improve the $4 billion electrophysiology (EP) marketplace (www.biosigtech.com). Led by a proven management team and a veteran, independent Board of Directors, Minneapolis-based BioSig Technologies is preparing to ommercialize its PURE EP(TM) System. BioSig’s technology has been developed to address an unmet need in a large and growing market. The PURE EP System is a novel cardiac signal acquisition and display system which is engineered to assist electrophysiologists in clinical decision making during procedures to diagnose and treat patients with abnormal heart rates and rhythms. BioSig’s main goal is to deliver technology to improve upon catheter ablation treatments for the prevalent and deadly arrhythmias, Atrial Fibrillation and Ventricular Tachycardia. Data from the 2016 HRI Global Opportunities in Medical Devices & Diagnostics report shows the global Electrophysiology (EP) market revenues will grow nearly 10% annually, from currently $4 billion to approximately $6 billion by 2020 with accompanying procedure growth close to 10% annually, from 865,000 patients in 2015 to 1,350,000 in 2020. Procedure growth in the United States alone is projected at an 11.0% annual rate, from 250,000 in 2015 to 422,000 in 2020; accompanied by an 11.7% growth in revenues, from $1.85 billion in 2015 to $3.220 billion in 2020. BioSig has partnered with Minnetronix on technology development and is working toward FDA 510(k) clearance and CE Mark for the PURE EP System. The Company has achieved proof of concept validation and tested its prototype at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Cardiac Arrhythmia Center, and has performed pre-clinical studies at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and Mount Sinai Hospital in NY. The company continues to perform research and development studies in the form of an Advanced Research Program at Mayo Clinic which began in June 2016. Other prestigious cardiac arrhythmia centers including Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute and UH Case Medical Center in Cleveland also play an important role in the PURE EP technology.


Minneapolis, MN, Feb. 21, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- BioSig Technologies, Inc. (OTCQB: BSGM), a medical device company developing the PURE EP(TM) System, a proprietary platform designed to address an unmet technology need for the $4 billion electrophysiology (EP) marketplace, today announced that its President & CEO, Mr. Gregory Cash will present at SeeThruEquity 3rd Annual Innovations Investor Conference on Wednesday, February 22, 2017 at the W Hotel South Beach, Miami. During the conference Mr. Cash will deliver the Company’s corporate presentation and discuss recent business highlights. Management will also be available for one-on-one meetings. To arrange a meeting with management, please contact Ms. Lora Mikolaitis lmikolaitis@biosigtech.com. BioSig Technologies is a medical device company developing a proprietary technology platform designed to improve the $4 billion electrophysiology (EP) marketplace (www.biosigtech.com). Led by a proven management team and a veteran, independent Board of Directors, Minneapolis-based BioSig Technologies is preparing to commercialize its PURE EP(TM) System. BioSig’s technology has been developed to address an unmet need in a large and growing market. The PURE EP System is a novel cardiac signal acquisition and display system which is engineered to assist electrophysiologists in clinical decision making during procedures to diagnose and treat patients with abnormal heart rates and rhythms. BioSig’s main goal is to deliver technology to improve upon catheter ablation treatments for the prevalent and deadly arrhythmias, Atrial Fibrillation and Ventricular Tachycardia. Data from the 2016 HRI Global Opportunities in Medical Devices & Diagnostics report shows the global Electrophysiology (EP) market revenues will grow nearly 10% annually, from currently $4 billion to approximately $6 billion by 2020 with accompanying procedure growth close to 10% annually, from 865,000 patients in 2015 to 1,350,000 in 2020. Procedure growth in the United States alone is projected at an 11.0% annual rate, from 250,000 in 2015 to 422,000 in 2020; accompanied by an 11.7% growth in revenues, from $1.85 billion in 2015 to $3.220 billion in 2020. BioSig has partnered with Minnetronix on technology development and is working toward FDA 510(k) clearance and CE Mark for the PURE EP System. The Company has achieved proof of concept validation and tested its prototype at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Cardiac Arrhythmia Center, and has performed pre-clinical studies at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and Mount Sinai Hospital in NY. The company continues to perform research and development studies in the form of an Advanced Research Program at Mayo Clinic which began in June 2016. Other prestigious cardiac arrhythmia centers including Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute and UH Case Medical Center in Cleveland also play an important role in the PURE EP technology.


News Article | November 21, 2016
Site: marketersmedia.com

info@biosigtech.com to schedule a one on one meeting. The LD Micro Main Event is the largest independent conference for small/microcap companies and will feature 240 presenting names. BioSig Technologies is a medical device company that is developing a proprietary technology platform designed to improve the $4 billion EP marketplace (1) (biosigtech.com). Led by a proven management team and a veteran, independent Board of Directors, Minneapolis-based BioSig Technologies is preparing to commercialize its PURE EP System. The PURE EP(TM) System is a surface electrocardiogram and intracardiac multichannel signal acquisition and analysis system engineered to assist electrophysiologists in making clinical decisions in real-time by acquiring and displaying high-fidelity cardiac signal recordings and providing clarity of data which may be used to guide the electrophysiologists in identifying ablation targets - areas of tissue to treat that otherwise create a heart rhythm disturbance (arrhythmia). Analysts forecast the global market for EP devices will grow at a 12.1 percent compound annual growth rate, from $2.5 billion in 2012 to $5.5 billion by 2019(1), making it one of the fastest growing medical device segments. Just in the US, the number of Atrial Fibrillation (AF) and Ventricular Tachycardia (VT) arrhythmia ablations is forecast to grow at 10.5 percent from 2012 to 2017(2). BioSig has partnered with Minnetronix on technology development and is working toward FDA 510(k) clearance for the PURE EP System. The Company has achieved proof of concept validation and tested its prototype at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Cardiac Arrhythmia Center; and has performed pre-clinical studies at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. Additionally, an Advanced Research Program at Mayo Clinic began in June 2016. The Company is also collaborating with other prestigious cardiac arrhythmia centers including Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute, UH Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio and Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York. LD Micro was founded in 2006 with the sole purpose of being an independent resource in the microcap space. What started out as a newsletter highlighting unique companies has transformed into an event platform hosting several influential conferences annually (Invitational, Summit, and Main Event). In 2015, LDM launched the first pure microcap index (the LDMi) to exclusively provide intraday information on the entire sector. LD will continue to provide valuable tools for the benefit of everyone in the small and microcap universe. For those interested in attending, please contact David Scher at david@ldmicro.com or visit www.ldmicro.com/events for more information.


Minneapolis, MN, Oct. 12, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- BioSig Technologies, Inc. (OTCQB: BSGM), a medical device company developing the PURE EP(TM) System, a novel cardiac electrophysiology (EP) signal acquisition and analysis system, today announced that its Executive Chairman, Mr. Kenneth Londoner will present at the Dawson James 2016 Small Cap Growth Stock Conference.  The Conference will be held on October 20, 2016 at the Wyndham Grand Hotel in Jupiter, Florida. Time: Thursday, October 20th at 8:30am in Track 1 – Preserve Ballroom C During the conference Mr. Londoner will deliver the Company’s corporate presentation and discuss recent business highlights. Management will also be available for one-on-one meetings. To arrange a meeting with management, please contact Lora Mikolaitis lmikolaitis@biosigtech.com. Dawson James Securities, a member of FINRA/SIPC, is a full service investment bank headquartered in Boca Raton, FL. The company has set out to create the highest-quality, full service investment firm specializing in the complex and fast-moving healthcare, biotechnology, technology and clean-tech sectors. For more information, please visit  http://www.dawsonjames.com. BioSig Technologies is a medical device company that is developing a proprietary technology platform designed to improve the $4 billion EP marketplace (1) (biosigtech.com). Led by a proven management team and a veteran, independent Board of Directors, Minneapolis-based BioSig Technologies is preparing to commercialize its PURE EP System. The PURE EP(TM) System is a surface electrocardiogram and intracardiac multichannel signal acquisition and analysis system engineered to assist electrophysiologists in making clinical decisions in real-time by acquiring and displaying high-fidelity cardiac signal recordings and providing clarity of data which may be used to guide the electrophysiologists in identifying ablation targets - areas of tissue to treat that otherwise create a heart rhythm disturbance (arrhythmia). Analysts forecast the global market for EP devices will grow at a 12.1 percent compound annual growth rate, from $2.5 billion in 2012 to $5.5 billion by 2019(1), making it one of the fastest growing medical device segments. Just in the US, the number of Atrial Fibrillation (AF) and Ventricular Tachycardia (VT) arrhythmia ablations is forecast to grow at 10.5 percent from 2012 to 2017(2). BioSig has partnered with Minnetronix on technology development and is working toward a FDA 510(k) clearance for the PURE EP System. The Company has achieved proof of concept validation and tested its prototype at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Cardiac Arrhythmia Center; and, has performed pre-clinical studies at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. Additionally, an Advanced Research Program at Mayo Clinic began in June 2016. The Company is also collaborating with other prestigious cardiac arrhythmia centers including Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute, UH Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio and Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York.


News Article | October 19, 2016
Site: globenewswire.com

Minneapolis, MN, Oct. 19, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- BioSig Technologies, Inc. (OTCQB: BSGM), a medical device company developing the PURE EP™ System, a novel cardiac electrophysiology (EP) signal acquisition and analysis system, today announced that its Executive Chairman, Mr. Kenneth Londoner will present at The MicroCap Conference in Philadelphia. The Conference will be held on October 24-25, 2016 at the Hotel Monaco in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. During the conference Mr. Londoner will deliver the Company’s corporate presentation and discuss recent business highlights. Management will also be available for one-on-one meetings. To arrange a meeting with management, please email Lora Mikolaitis at lmikolaitis@biosigtech.com. The MicroCap Conference is an exclusive event for investors who specialize in small stocks. It’s an opportunity to be introduced to and speak with management at some of the most attractive small companies, to learn from various expert panels, and mingle with other microcap investors. The MicroCap Conference will take place in Philadelphia at the Hotel Monaco on October 24th and 25th. The event will start on Monday at 1:00pm ET and Tuesday at 7:30am ET, and will last until the evening. These days will be jam-packed with company sessions, presentations, good food, and plenty of time to network with other investors over drinks at the reception. This event does not allow service providers - only portfolio managers, analysts, and private investors. BioSig Technologies is a medical device company that is developing a proprietary technology platform designed to improve the $4 billion EP marketplace (1) (biosigtech.com). Led by a proven management team and a veteran, independent Board of Directors, Minneapolis-based BioSig Technologies is preparing to commercialize its PURE EP System. The PURE EP(TM) System is a surface electrocardiogram and intracardiac multichannel signal acquisition and analysis system engineered to assist electrophysiologists in making clinical decisions in real-time by acquiring and displaying high-fidelity cardiac signal recordings and providing clarity of data which may be used to guide the electrophysiologists in identifying ablation targets - areas of tissue to treat that otherwise create a heart rhythm disturbance (arrhythmia). Analysts forecast the global market for EP devices will grow at a 12.1 percent compound annual growth rate, from $2.5 billion in 2012 to $5.5 billion by 2019(1), making it one of the fastest growing medical device segments. Just in the US, the number of Atrial Fibrillation (AF) and Ventricular Tachycardia (VT) arrhythmia ablations is forecast to grow at 10.5 percent from 2012 to 2017(2). BioSig has partnered with Minnetronix on technology development and is working toward FDA 510(k) clearance for the PURE EP System. The Company has achieved proof of concept validation and tested its prototype at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Cardiac Arrhythmia Center; and has performed pre-clinical studies at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. Additionally, an Advanced Research Program at Mayo Clinic began in June 2016. The Company is also collaborating with other prestigious cardiac arrhythmia centers including Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute, UH Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio and Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York.


News Article | November 11, 2016
Site: globenewswire.com

Minneapolis, MN, Nov. 11, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- BioSig Technologies, Inc. (OTCQB: BSGM), a medical device company developing the PURE EP(TM) System, a novel cardiac electrophysiology (EP) signal acquisition and analysis system, today announced that its Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Gregory Cash will present at the Emerging Medical Technologies Summit.  The Conference will be held today, November 11th 2016 in Redwood City, California. During the conference, Mr. Cash will deliver the Company's corporate presentation and discuss recent business highlights. Management will also be available for one-on-one meetings. To arrange a meeting with management, please contact Lora Mikolaitis lmikolaitis@biosigtech.com. BioSig Technologies is a medical device company that is developing a proprietary technology platform designed to improve the $4 billion EP marketplace (1) (biosigtech.com). Led by a proven management team and a veteran, independent Board of Directors, Minneapolis-based BioSig Technologies is preparing to commercialize its PURE EP System. The PURE EP(TM) System is a surface electrocardiogram and intracardiac multichannel signal acquisition and analysis system engineered to assist electrophysiologists in making clinical decisions in real-time by acquiring and displaying high-fidelity cardiac signal recordings and providing clarity of data which may be used to guide the electrophysiologists in identifying ablation targets - areas of tissue to treat that otherwise create a heart rhythm disturbance (arrhythmia). Analysts forecast the global market for EP devices will grow at a 12.1 percent compound annual growth rate, from $2.5 billion in 2012 to $5.5 billion by 2019(1), making it one of the fastest growing medical device segments. Just in the US, the number of Atrial Fibrillation (AF) and Ventricular Tachycardia (VT) arrhythmia ablations is forecast to grow at 10.5 percent from 2012 to 2017(2). BioSig has partnered with Minnetronix on technology development and is working toward FDA 510(k) clearance for the PURE EP System. The Company has achieved proof of concept validation and tested its prototype at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Cardiac Arrhythmia Center; and has performed pre-clinical studies at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. Additionally, an Advanced Research Program at Mayo Clinic began in June 2016. The Company is also collaborating with other prestigious cardiac arrhythmia centers including Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute, UH Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio and Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York.


News Article | March 15, 2016
Site: motherboard.vice.com

Remember the magic capsules you had as a child that grew into animal-shaped sponges once placed in water? Researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota are taking that same idea and using it to better treat cancer patients. Lichun Lu and Xifeng Lu, scientists at the Mayo Clinic’s college of medicine, have developed special biodegradable polymer bone grafts that will grow to a specific size and shape once surgically placed in the body. The research was presented today at the American Chemical Society’s spring meeting in San Diego. “We are working on a solution to improve surgical cancer treatments,” Lu said Tuesday. “Removing spinal tumors sometimes requires removing surrounding bone/discs. We've created a spongy cage to fill the void in the spine.” Cancer spreads through the body via a process called metastasis. When cancer spreads to the bones, the spine is the most common skeletal location for it to appear. When doctors remove spinal tumors, they have to remove significant amounts of bone and even entire intervertebral discs, leaving a significant gap. To ensure the integrity of the spinal cord and maintain the strength of the patient’s spine, doctors have to fill the gaps; however, current methods for doing so are not ideal. Patients typically have to choose between an aggressive, invasive procedure or one that is incredibly expensive. With the first option, a surgeon would open up the patient’s chest cavity and approach the spine from the front of the body in order to give the surgeon more room to work. Metal spinal cages and bone grafts are surgically implanted in order to fill in the gaps left from the tumor removal. Healing time from this type of procedure is lengthy. The second option only requires a small incision. A surgeon would then insert short, expandable rods made from titanium to strengthen the spinal column. This procedure is much less invasive, but extremely costly. Lu’s team is working to develop a third option using a biodegradable polymer as a bone substitute, which will expand after being implanted. The sponge-like implant is made from hydrogel that is dehydrated down to capsule size, allowing the surgeon to implant them just like would the titanium rods. Once inside the body, fluids would cause the polymer to expand and fill the gaps left by the missing vertebrae. “The cage expands in all directions,” Lu said. “We want it to expand in diameter and length. This way we can control the final dimension of the graft so it can fit the need of specific patients.” During the procedure, the surgeon would first insert a hollow shell of the graft known as a cage, activate it with sterile saline, initiating the expansion process, and then fill it with stabilizing materials and therapeutic drugs. The researchers worked diligently to perfect the expansion process. “We've engineered the cage expand the way we want it to,” Lu explained during a press conference. “The ideal expansion time is no more than five to 10 minutes.” The timing of this process had to be just right. If the implant expanded too quickly, the surgeon would not have enough time to properly position it. However, if it expanded too slowly, that would prolong the surgery. Once implanted in the body, tension would hold the cage the in place until it was filled. After the injection, the graft will be completely secure and eventually surrounding bone tissue will grow into it, anchoring it in place. Liu described some of the challenges the duo faced. “The most challenging step was finding the right material,” he explained. “We don't want it to be too soft or too rigid. We believe we now have the most optimal material.” Preliminary trials with cadavers as test subjects are set to begin soon. The trials will test the feasibility of the techniques, as well as the durability of the polymer. “It needs to support the body weight of the patient,” Liu said. “This polymer is very strong and we believe it will hold up.” If the cadaver trials are successful, the team expects the first clinical trial with humans to come in the next few years.

Loading Mayo Clinic in Minnesota collaborators
Loading Mayo Clinic in Minnesota collaborators