Scientists develop unique heart surgery device

Updated: 2016-05-04 16:20


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Scientists from Russia's National University of Science and Technology MISIS and their colleagues from Australia's Endogene-Globetek medical company have developed a unique device to enhance cardiovascular surgery. From now on, doctors will be able to perform heart bypass surgery without stopping the heart itself.

Cardiovascular disorders kill 17 million people annually worldwide, more than any other disease. A stapler like device for mending blood vessels using strong staples makes it possible to quickly and safely restore blood vessels and to considerably reduce the post-operative period.

This Russian-Australian invention received an award at the 44th INVENTIONS GENEVA international exhibition.

A standard heart bypass surgery lasts four to five hours, with doctors having to stop the heart, which entails lengthy post-operative rehabilitation. Doctors are unable to restart a patient's heart in 5 percent of all cases.

This new stitching instrument allows doctors to operate on the heart while it beats. Instead of sawing the breast bone apart, surgeons can now simply bore two holes through it and put the bypass in place. The entire operation lasts about 60 minutes, and the patient can be discharged on the following day.

This innovative stapler uses special resilient nickel titanium (nitinol) reversible shape memory staples. In short, this metal can be deformed and then its original shape restored after abnormal deformations. The staples are inserted inside a cartridge which is then placed inside the polymer-body stapler's distal end.

"The world has no other device like it. The main advantage is that it reliably patches up the blood vessels in no time. In addition, it is very easy to quickly learn to use the stapler. It can be used during abdominal surgery to patch up blood vessels and other hollow body organs, including aortic aneurisms or during intestinal surgery," said Sergei Prokoshkin, a professor at pressure metal treatment department of NUST MISIS.

It took experts about nine years to perfect the invention, with Russian scientists continuing to upgrade the staples and their Australian counterparts working on the stapler's body.

Pre-clinical tests have already been completed, and this technology has also been patented in Russia and Australia. Clinical tests are scheduled to commence soon.