Westmead inventors win $1.39m to bankroll novel medical device

Westmead Hospital biomedical engineer Tony Barr and cardiologist Dr Pierre Qian with NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard.

A revolutionary medical device, developed by two Westmead Hospital staffers, has been given a $1.39 million boost, courtesy of money from the NSW Government’s NSW Medical Devices Fund.

The Mu Catheter, a magic lantern-shaped microwave-emitting catheter used to control high blood pressure, was one of four innovative medical devices awarded a Medical Device Fund grant by NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard at a ceremony at Parliament House this week.

The device, which was was co-invented by Westmead Hospital cardiologist Dr Pierre Qian and biomedical engineer Tony Barry, is a new generation microwave renal artery system for treating hypertension.

The device, which is introduced into the renal artery, “melts” the hyperactive renal nerves that course around the artery, which are thought to be responsible for driving high blood pressure in patients who do not respond adequately to medication.

Cardiologist Dr Pierre Qian shows NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard how to use the machine.

“The results so far have been very encouraging; they show it is possible to deactivate the vast majority of the renal nerves, without significant injury to the renal artery, using this technology,” Dr Qian said.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=riYgSbX1VPw[/embedyt]

“The Mu Catheter radiates microwaves into the tissue surrounding the renal artery to provide a deep and circumferential removal; it consistently reaches most of the renal nerves, while avoiding injury to the renal artery itself, which is cooled and protected by blood flow.”

Dr Qian and Mr Barry are set to use the funds to further develop their catheter in a series of preclinical models, which if successful, may be used to treat medication resistant hypertension patients.

“Hypertension is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of death worldwide,” said Dr Qian.

“Twenty-eight percent of adults in NSW have hypertension, however up to one in eight patients fail to achieve blood pressure control, despite multiple medications.

This project is jointly owned and being commercialised by the University of Sydney and Western Sydney Local Health District.

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