Prototype vascular surgical device wins clinical innovation award

Winning idea looks to make it safer to introduce devices into arteries through needle puncture

Dr Cliona Murphy: is taking part in the BioInnovate programme at NUI Galway

A prototype device to enable "less traumatic introduction of large diameter therapeutic vascular devices" into the body has won this year's Cleveland Clinic and Enterprise Ireland clinical innovation award.

The winning idea looks to make it safer to introduce devices into arteries through needle puncture during procedures such as aortic aneurysm repair and aortic valve replacement, said Dr Cliona Murphy, who accepted the award last week at the Medical Technology Industry Excellence Awards in Limerick.

A GP, Dr Murphy is taking part in the BioInnovate programme at NUI Galway, where she spent time observing surgical procedures and spotted a clinical need where an innovation could help.

“There has been a shift in the treatment of certain heart procedures from open surgery to the vascular approach, and one of these procedures is transcatheter aortic valve implantation,” she said.

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“For this they require a large-diameter device to be inserted into the vessel to go to the heart, and the difficulty is that you need a large ‘introducer sheath’ that can result in complications. We have designed [a sheath] that reduces the axial force on the blood vessel, hopefully preventing complications.”

The team behind the idea will receive a grant of €15,000 and the opportunity to work with Cleveland Clinic and Enterprise Ireland to develop the device further.

Claire O'Connell

Claire O'Connell

Claire O'Connell is a contributor to The Irish Times who writes about health, science and innovation