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Patent Awarded for Unwanted Internal Tissue Removal Device

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18 April 2014. Savonas Inc., a medical technology accelerator in Sausalito, California, received a patent for a device that safely removes unwanted biological material from internal body cavities during minimally invasive surgeries. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted patent number 8,696,621 on 15 April 2014 to two inventors, including Savonas’s CEO Larry Gerrans.

The device aims to solve the problem of removing unwanted or even life-threatening biomaterial inside body cavities such as tumors or damaged tissue during surgery. With most of today’s technology, removing the material requires some kind of shaving action, which can be abrasive and traumatic to many patients, causing damage to healthy tissue as well as the material the surgeon wants to remove.

“The methods are not efficient, safe, or reproducible,” says Gerrans in a company statement. “The instruments employed lack the appropriate visualization, physiological measurement, and/or biofeedback necessary,” Gerrans adds, “to ensure the safety, efficacy, and reproducibility of the procedure.”

The patented technology uses a balloon inserted with a catheter that inflates to fill the internal cavity with the biomaterial to be removed. The device includes a pump that can inflate and deflate to loosen the unwanted tissue, or in some cases, send stored fluids to provide the pulsating action. The technology also makes it possible to measure the size of the internal cavity to calibrate the amount of inflation to be needed. In addition, the patent allows for multiple balloons to be inserted, if needed by the surgeon.

Savonas Inc. has six portfolio companies all involved in some aspect of minimally invasive surgery. One of the companies, AngioCure Inc., is developing processes using catheter-based devices to remove plaque from arteries and veins. Another company, Otogenix Inc., is developing balloon techniques to treat sinus infections.

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