RTI International is developing a 3D catheter that it hopes will one day provide cardiologists with real-time view imaging inside the heart during cardiac catheterizations. RTI’s new 3D catheter contains an ultrasound microarray that was made using semiconductor circuit fabrication, which can provide live volumetric imaging (LVI) with field-of-view, according to the company.
The North Carolina-based research institute reports that it teamed with entrepreneur Paul Zalesky, PhD, to form Envisage Medical Inc, in an effort to develop the volumetric imaging system necessary to advance this technology into clinical reality.
“Our goal is to give the interventional [cardiologist] a simple, intuitive imaging tool that will streamline the workflow and improve outcomes,” said Zalesky, who believes the silicon-based manufacturing platform could provide 3D imaging at a cost lower than today’s 2D imaging. “This is likely to revolutionize interventional therapies in electrophysiology and structural heart disease.”
In an effort to implement the new 3D catheter technology in the catheter lab, RTI is also collaborating with Kalyanam Shivkumar, MD, PhD, director and chief of Interventional Cardiovascular Programs and the Cardiac Arrhythmia Center at UCLA Medical Center.
“This is likely to revolutionize interventional therapies in electrophysiology and structural heart disease,” Shivkumar said.
The team hopes that in the near future, this real-time volumetric imaging technology can be used by interventional cardiologists to guide the repair and replacement of heart valves, correction of dangerous arrhythmias, and other least-invasive cardiac procedures. The next step, according to the team, is to integrate the 3D catheters onto a clinical ultrasound system and demonstrate efficacy in a series of animal studies.