Patent number 8782873 is assigned to
The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "A variety of expandable intraluminal medical devices have been developed over recent years. Stents, for example, are routinely used in several body lumens as a means for providing support to ailing vessels, such as coronary and non-coronary vessels. Stent-graft devices are frequently used as to provide support from within a body vessel and/or to exclude a portion of a vessel wall from the lumen of the vessel. Prosthetic valves, including heart and venous valve devices, that include expandable support frames have also been the focus of considerable development efforts over the last several years.
"No matter the ultimate function of the device, expandable intraluminal medical devices are typically delivered to a point of treatment using a delivery system designed for percutaneous techniques. In a conventional procedure, a caregiver navigates the delivery system through one or more body vessels until the expandable intraluminal medical device, which is typically contained within a distal tip or portion of the delivery system, is positioned at or near the desired point of treatment. Next, the caregiver deploys the expandable intraluminal medical device from the delivery system, either by removing a constraining force for self-expandable devices or by providing an expansive force for balloon-expandable devices. Once deployment is complete, the delivery system is removed from the body vessel, leaving the expandable intraluminal medical device at the point of treatment.
"During delivery, expandable intraluminal medical devices are maintained in a compressed, or reduced-diameter, configuration within the delivery system to ensure navigability of the delivery system through the body vessel. It is necessary, therefore, to compress the intraluminal medical device and place it within the delivery system at some point prior to use in the treatment procedure. For some devices, including some cardiac stents, this loading procedure can be conducted as part of the manufacturing process, i.e., prior to shipment to the treatment facility. For other devices, however, various concerns caution against loading the device at any point not immediately prior to delivery. For example, some tissue-based devices, such as prosthetic heart and venous valves, must be maintained in an appropriate fluid during all storage periods prior to use in a treatment procedure to ensure the integrity of the tissue component of the device. Furthermore, the effects of reduced-diameter storage of such tissue-based devices, particularly long-term storage, are not well-characterized and, as a result, are desirably avoided.
"A loading procedure that is conducted immediately prior to treatment is subject to several concerns not considered critical for such procedures conducted outside of the treatment theater. For example, the loading procedure must not require bulky equipment that is difficult to use and/or inappropriate for the treatment theater. The procedure must be efficient and simple, and any materials or devices used in such a procedure should be easy to operate. A need exists, therefore, for a simple apparatus that facilitates loading of an expandable intraluminal medical device onto a delivery system. A need for improved methods of loading expandable intraluminal medical devices into delivery devices also exists."
In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "Apparatuses for loading expandable intraluminal medical devices into a delivery device are described. An apparatus according to one exemplary embodiment comprises a flexible main body having inner and outer surfaces, and first and second rolled ends. The main body is adapted to alternatively adopt a substantially flat configuration that exposes a portion of the inner surface and a helical configuration that defines an interior chamber adapted to receive the expandable intraluminal medical device desired to be loaded into the delivery device.
"An apparatus according to another exemplary embodiment comprises a flexible main body having inner and outer surfaces and first and second rolled ends; a first cylindrical collar disposed around the first rolled end; a second cylindrical collar disposed around the second rolled end; a first handle partially disposed in the first cylindrical collar; and a second handle partially disposed in the second cylindrical collar. The main body is adapted to alternatively adopt a substantially flat configuration that exposes a portion of the inner surface and a helical configuration that defines an interior chamber for receiving said expandable intraluminal medical device by application of a rotational force to one of the first and second handles while maintaining the other of the first and second handles in a substantially stationary position.
"Kits useful in the loading of an expandable intraluminal medical device into a delivery device are also described. A kit according to one exemplary embodiment comprises an expandable intraluminal medical device and a loading apparatus according to an embodiment of the invention.
"Methods of loading expandable intraluminal medical devices into delivery devices are also described. An exemplary method comprises the steps of selecting an expandable intraluminal medical device and an appropriate delivery device defining an appropriate device chamber for containing the expandable intraluminal medical device; selecting a loading apparatus according to an embodiment of the invention; placing the loading apparatus in an open configuration to expose an inner surface of the main body; placing the expandable intraluminal medical device on the inner surface of the main body of the loading apparatus; placing the loading apparatus in a closed configuration to place the main body in a helical configuration and to dispose the expandable intraluminal medical device within an interior chamber formed by the helical configuration; applying a rotational force to an end of the loading apparatus to constrict the outer diameter of the helical configuration of the main body; and applying a substantially translational force to an end of the loading apparatus to advance the expandable intraluminal medical device along a lengthwise axis of the loading apparatus until the expandable intraluminal medical device is transferred from the interior chamber of the loading apparatus to the device chamber of the selected delivery device. Methods described herein are useful in loading expandable intraluminal medical devices into delivery devices either immediately prior to use in a treatment procedure, such as in the treatment theater by a treatment provider, or before the intraluminal medical device is within the treatment theater, such as in a manufacturing facility by manufacturing personnel.
"Additional understanding of the claimed invention can be obtained with review of the following detailed description of exemplary embodiments and the appended drawings, which illustrate the described exemplary embodiments."
URL and more information on this patent, see: Valaie,
Keywords for this news article include: Technology.
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