Impedance Spectroscopy device for early indication and diagnosis of Coronary disease (Cor-IS)

Ref-Nr: TDO0150

Technology abstract

A research team from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki has developed an impedance spectroscopy device, that allows prompt and timely evaluation of the functionality of the brachial artery endothelium and, consequently, of the coronary circulation system. The device provides higher sensitivity than ultrasound imaging and it is also lightweight, portable and easy to handle for home use. 

This novel technology won the Greek ?Down to Earth Competition? in 2014. It takes advantage of the innovative data acquisition unit (hardware) and advanced signal analysis (software), making it capable of sensing the presence of even a few micro-bubbles inside the astronauts? body, and making it very promising for the early detection of coronary disease.

- Paris Rallis -

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Technology Description

The device allows prompt and timely evaluation of the functionality of the brachial artery endothelium and, consequently, of the coronary circulation system. Impedance measurements are based on the vasodilation caused by an ischemic cuff on the upper arm and subsequent hyperemia through the Nitric Oxide (NO) release from the endothelium.

The device can be primarily used as a reliable early indicator of an emerging coronary disease in patients suspected (due to pathological reasons) of developing the disease.

Additionally this device can be used as a supplementary diagnostic tool for the coronary disease by employing on-line/in-situ analysis, of a patient?s impedance data that are continuously logged during selected or prolonged periods of time.

For the first time in clinical practice, such impedance data will provide time-series information on a patient?s brachial artery performance after an ischemic cuff and subsequent hyperemia e.g., expansion and recovery rate, span of artery size response, periodic and non-periodic features of coronary circulation, etc. Such information will allow medical doctors to assess not only the severity of incidents but also to monitor and record the medical history of a patient regarding the evolution/development of coronary diseases along his lifetime.

The proposed device is a modified version of a patented electrical impedance spectroscopy device (European Patent Office, EP14188200.1) that has been already used during in-vivo clinical trials for the detection of Decompression Sickness in volunteer divers (European Space Agency reports). The latter constitutes a stringent proof of concept of the technique for measuring reliable electric signals.

Innovations & Advantages

Until now, ultrasound imaging of the brachial artery is applied in clinical practice, before and after the ischemic cuff and the subsequent hyperemia.

This practice has major disadvantages like poor repeatability, extensive fluctuation in the measured values, low imaging resolution and dependency on an ultrasound operator.

The aforementioned drawbacks are not present when employing the Cor-IS, which is a non-invasive impedance spectroscopy device that reads electrical signals using simple ECG-type electrodes, placed onto the skin.

It can measure, with unprecedented sensitivity, not only the impedance variations caused by the ischemic cuff and release but even the minuscule pulsatile impedance undulations of the blood flow.

Cor-IS is absolutely safe for human applications. Furthermore, it is lightweight, small, portable, easy to handle and can operate on batteries. Preliminary cost breakdown indicates that it will be affordable for regular people to buy and use at home.

In addition, it can provide continuous measurements for telemedicine applications, data logging and it can be used routinely. The applications range is wide and different measurement sites (e.g. chest, carotid artery, etc) can be measured and examined independently or at the same time. Such multi-point measurement is impossible with ultrasound imaging.

 

Current and Potential Domains of Application

  • Diagnostic device for coronary disease
  • Device for detecting bubbles in the bloodstream of divers.
  • Telemedicine applications
  • Other Biomedical applications
  • Medical equipment