UV light-enabled catheter to fix holes in heart without operation

WASHINGTON (TIP): Researchers have designed a specialised catheter for fixing holes in the heart using a biodegradable adhesive and patch, eliminating the need for open heart surgery.

Pedro delNido, contributing author on the study, said, “This method also avoids suturing into the heart tissue, because we’re just gluing something to it,” said delNido.

Catheterisations are preferable to open heart surgery because they don’t require stopping the heart, putting the patient on bypass, and cutting into the heart.

Their newly designed catheter device utilises UV light technology, and can be used to place the patch in a beating heart. The catheter is inserted through a vein in the neck or groin and directed to the defect within the heart.

Once in place, the clinician opens two positioning balloons: one around the front end of the catheter, and one on the other side of the heart wall.

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The clinician then deploys the patch and turns on the catheter’s UV light. The light reflects off of the balloon’s interior and activates the patch’s adhesive coating. As the glue cures, pressure from the positioning balloons on either side of the patch help secure it in place. Finally, both balloons are deflated and the catheter is withdrawn.

Over time, normal tissue growth resumes.

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