Biophan receives patent on improved medical device safety under MRI
9 October 2005
Rochester NY, USA. Biophan Technologies, Inc. has received a patent for a
device that detects electrical surges during magnetic resonance imaging.
This can prevent incompatible implanted devices, such as a pacemaker, from
causing harm to patients or medical staff due to dangerous electrical
currents induced in the device during imaging.
Biophan has been issued US patent 6,949,929 "Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Interference Immune Device". This patent covers active electronic circuits
that can sense unwanted electrical energy in a medical device and creates an
offsetting signal that effectively cancels it. The Company believes this
technology could be critical to the safety of a patient with a pacemaker,
defibrillator, or nerve stimulator, who may inadvertently be placed in a
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine. The Company also believes the
technology can reduce or eliminate unwanted energy induced in a guidewire or
other long conductive surgical tool that would otherwise be useful in less
invasive catheter-based interventional procedures.
The typical pacemaker stimulation signal level (about 3 volts) and
duration (about 1 millisecond) are intentionally well above the stimulation
threshold of most individuals in order to pace the heart and to provide
reliable operation. There is considerable variability in this stimulation
threshold, and for some patients it can be well below 1 volt. In a typical
1.5 Tesla MRI system, a pulsed gradient field operates at 300 pulses per
minute. Under some MRI test sequences and with some pacemaker lead layouts,
a signal approaching 1 volt at this speed can potentially induce a heartbeat
of 300 beats per minute. If this is not caught immediately the resulting
catastrophic loss of blood pressure can be fatal
The long and extremely thin metal guidewires used in advanced interventional
surgical procedures can generate electrical arcs and extreme localized
heating under certain MRI imaging conditions, potentially harming both the
patient and the surgeon. The Company believes its technology, protected by
Biophan's US 6,949,929 patent, may also be applied to solve this problem.
Biophan's latest patent is one of a wide set of technologies developed to
eliminate patient risks caused by the combination of these devices and the
MRI signals and improve the image quality of these devices in MRI. Other
Biophan technologies may be used to enhance the MRI visualization of
interventional surgical tools that would otherwise be invisible under MRI.
This eliminates the need for x-ray imaging to guide these procedures,
limiting patient exposure to ionizing radiation and toxic contrast agents.
Michael Weiner, President and Chief Executive Officer of Biophan
Technologies, said, "We are extremely pleased with the issuance of this
patent, which further builds our extensive portfolio of protected
technologies to make medical devices safe under MRI. Our technological
visibility to global manufacturers of pacemakers, defibrillators and
neurostimulators continues to rise. We have made substantial progress in our
discussions with these companies about the potential implementation of our
patented technology. It is Biophan's mission to see that medical devices are
made safe and compatible with MRI, eliminating contraindications on devices
related to MRI, particularly where it may be critical to ensure optimal