William "Billy" Cohn, MD, vice president and director of the Johnson & Johnson Center for Device Innovation at TMC , showcased his invention that makes treatment easier for dialysis patients at the 12th annual Pumps & Pipes conference, at a uniquely Houston meeting that assembles leaders from the Bayou's city signature industries: medicine, energy and aerospace.
"It's a very Houston story," Cohn said, referring to his device's roots in the Houston Methodist Institute for Technology, Innovation & Education (MITIE) and in the Cardiovascular Surgery Research Lab at Texas Heart Institute. "It's as much about perseverance as anything else, and it's about teaming up with brilliant, passionate people who make this happen."
Cohn, a cardiovascular surgeon, invented the WavelinQ endoAVF System, formerly known as the everlinQ endoAVF System. The catheter-based technology is designed to provide minimally invasive dialysis access for patients suffering from chronic kidney failure. I have developed a way to connect the artery and the vein for people with severe kidney disease using magnets. Cohn introduced a prototype of the now-US Food and Drug Administration-approved device at Pumps & Pipes in 2014.
"On the face of it, it looks like we're disparate industries. We're not, "Lumsden said. "What does a cardiologist do? We navigate to hollow tube from the groin through a series of tubes to the heart. What does a drilling engineer do? They navigate to hollow tube from the surface all the way down 10,000 feet underground, two thousands offshore. They never turn on any radiation to that. We stand beside radiation all day. They do it using GPS navigation. Clearly, there are things we can learn from one another. "
"Greatness comes when you have opportunity and opportunity," he added. "Pumps & Pipes is about seeking greatness and expecting to find it." Cohn's WavelinQ endoAVF System exemplifies how the Texas Medical Center and Pumps & Pipes advance innovation.
Arteriovenous (AV) fistula
"An obvious area for innovation in my mind seemed to be in creating [arteriovenous] fistulas," he said. Arteriovenous (AV) fistula is the surgical connection between an artery and a vein in the arm that provides dialysis patients with enough blood during treatment, which filters the blood through a machine as a substitute for reduced or reduced kidney function.
Vascular surgeons make an incision on the arm, find a vein and sew it directly to the artery, effectively creating a "short circuit" to provide enough blood to flow. However, Cohn explained that surgically connecting the lead to clotting, causing the dialysis process to fail and putting patients at risk for additional surgeries.
"It was very important to me that a lot of these [AV fistulas] were blocked off in the first six to eight weeks," Cohn said. "They were perfect fistulas. It turned out that was for the course. " Due to the trauma of surgically moving the vein and dividing the blood vessels, the body's inflammatory response causes blood vessels to narrow and clot, inhibiting the connection of blood to the patient's flow to receive dialysis.
However, during the course of Cohn's training in the mid-1990s, I came across two patients in the emergency room who would unbeknownst to them-inspire him to solve the AV fistula clotting issue. One of the patients had been stabbed in the arm in an altercation over a parking space and the other had been stabbed in the thigh by his wife with a kitchen knife. In both cases, there was not any visible bleeding; instead, they were both bleeding from the artery right into the vein, causing the vein to increase due to the increase in blood flow.
Cohn discovered that these laws made an AV fistula that would not spontaneously close. Using this new knowledge, I have decided to take two catheters-one in the artery and one in the vein-and use magnets to connect the artery and vein together. Once the artery and the vein are aligned, I used radio frequency to activate a spring-loaded electrode that makes a hole in the artery and vein without any incisions. The electrode and catheters are subsequently removed.