CX Innovation Showcase: Window on new technologies


New technologies get an airing at this year’s Charing Cross International Symposium as part of the Innovation Showcase Forum, on Sunday April 15 2007. The Showcase highlights new companies and technologies and provokes discussion on the legal, regulatory, commercial and marketing challenges that the physician-inventor faces.

This year the programme has been expanded to look more at the role of the physician-inventor and new device opportunities. The esteemed speakers include, Drs Thomas Fogarty and Geoffrey White. Following lunch, the Innovation Showcase will take place in the Pippard Lecture Theatre (5th Floor Sherfield Building) and will examine the regulatory, financial, marketing and development challenges facing would-be inventor.

New Technology Horizons

The session ‘New Technology Horizons’ provides an insight into the latest innovative devices. This year’s technologies includes a presentation by Spencer Sherwin, London, UK, who will analyse the future interface between high-end flow imaging and clinical practice, and he will be followed by Rob Brightwell, London, UK who will assess the use of plasma brain markers for the early diagnosis of stroke. The next presentation by Dr Hans Coveliers, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, will examine the merits of robotics in vascular surgery. In the first of two presentations Dr David Deaton, Washington DC, will examine an endovascular therapy for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

In a session featuring the past two winners if the CX Innovation showcase award, Dr Brian Hopkinson (Nottingham) will present the latest information regarding the Refix endostapler (Lombard medical) and Nick Cheshire, London, UK, will present an update on the SwirlGraft (Veryan Medical). The body’s natural defence against the propagation of vascular disease is to generate smooth swirling flow through the arteries. This is achieved by the gentle helical geometry of the arterial system. Natural swirling flow not only eliminates zones of high and low wall shear but also cross-mixes nutrients to ensure optimum supply to the vessel wall and prevent stagnant flow. The SwirlGraft, an ePTFE substrate that handles like any ePTFE graft and its geometrical design that can be applied to most existing stent platforms.

Dragon’s Den

In a session examining new and exciting technologies, Dr Hannu Savolainen, Bern, Switzerland, will present an overview of a new device designed to treat resistant hypertension. The Rheos Baroreflex Hypertension Therapy System (CVRx) incorporates a tiny pacemaker-like device that is implanted into patients to control high blood pressure. The device delivers activation energy through the carotid leads and the leads conduct activation energy to the carotid baroreceptors. The baroreceptors send signals to the brain and the signals are interpreted as a rise in blood pressure. The brain sends signals to other parts of the body to reduce blood pressure such as the vessels, heart and kidneys. The Rheos System consists of a battery-powered implantable pulse generator, which is inserted under the skin near the collarbone, two carotid sinus leads, which run from the generator to the left and right carotid sinus, and a computer-based programming system to allow the physician to non-invasively set or change the therapy delivered by the system.

Following Savolainen, Deaton will highlight the benefits of the Aptus Endovascular AAA Repair System (Aptus Endosystems) that separates the endovascular AAA repair procedure into two steps: (1) exclude the aneurysm with an endograft designed to provide radial support while maintaining longitudinal compliance and (2) secure the endograft to the vessel wall with an endovascular stapling system that provides transmural aortic fixation with a high pull-out force proportional to the number of EndoStaples (Aptus) deployed. The approach is taken as current endografts rely primarily on the use of an oversized proximal stent (with or without a metallic barb) for fixation to the aortic wall. However, such oversized can result in metal fatigue, as well as proximal stent migration.

The Aptus modular endograft is designed specifically for use with the Aptus Endovascular Stapling System, which in turn is designed to provide secure fixation of the proximal edge of the endograft to the infrarenal aortic wall. The modular endograft is designed to accommodate changes in aneurysm and/or aorta morphology without compromising graft integrity, graft patency, or arterial attachment and sealing. In addition, this two-step approach to endovascular AAA repair allows for a significant reduction in the profile and increased flexibility of the delivery systems (endograft and EndoStaples). The modular endograft and the EndoStaple Applier are delivered through a 14F sheath (16F outer diameter). These attributes may allow a broader range of patients to be safely treated with an endovascular procedure. The Aptus Endovascular Repair System provides active fixation via an endovascular stapling system that allows placement of EndoStaples along the proximal edge of the main body endograft. The EndoStaple is a 4mm helical staple manufactured from medical-grade wire designed to engage the full thickness of the aortic wall in an active fashion.

Dr Ralf Kolvenbach, Duesseldorf, Germany, will report preliminary clinical experience using the laparoscopic aortic stapler, which aims to reduce the amount of clamping time needed during surgery. The last two presentations will be by Hopkinson who will highlight a laparoscopic sewing machine and Dr Alexander von Weymarn, Frauenfeld, Switzerland, who will discuss a new model of guidewire.

A panel of judges will assess the merits of numerous technologies and vote for this year’s winner of the CX Innovation Showcase 2007.