Danae Manolesou, PhD | Athroa Innovations, CTO; Giannis Stefanidis, MD (inventor); Lefteris Papadopoulos, Mihalis Boutaris (team members)
Competition Sponsor: EIT Health of the European Union
Awardee Year: 2022
Peripheral Artery Diseases (PAD) is a major chronic disease affecting millions of people worldwide and growing, due to an aging population. Our technology addresses an unmet need for minimally invasive PAD procedures in roughly 30% of all cases of chronic, severe arterial stenosis. We do this at a marginally higher cost than a conventional balloon catheter. This could mean 10bn dollars in savings for the US healthcare system and reduced morbidity rates thanks to averted open bypass surgeries for roughly 250,000 patients. The invention is a novel kinetic mechanism that allows for the shifting of a balloon over a catheter, thereby enhancing the catheter’s maneuverability. The mobile balloon when inflated can be anchored inside a vessel, while the catheter is able to move forwards or backwards as desired. In other words, the invention is an anchoring mobile balloon technology. Up to date, the technology concept has been patented, designed and engineered for manufacturing assembly. Based on the engineering analysis, a proof-of-concept prototype has been built. Lab tests proved concept feasibility and validity: the new catheter design increases the force applied by the proximal tip of the catheter by 63.2%. Our project for the next semester consists of: designing and creating a demo prototype, organizing webinars with physicians to assess product/market fit, receiving mentoring on product management, industry relationships and certification, formulating the business case and strategy for product launch, disseminating information at scientific conferences, and assessing the regulatory pathway.
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