Patented Biophan technology enables non-invasive MRI-based imaging of implantable blood filters to prevent pulmonary embolism

Rochester 26 April 2005A new round of experimental tests has demonstrated the ability of Biophan Technologies Inc.'s proprietary technology to enable Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of Vena Cava filters. Vena Cava filters are implanted in the Vena Cava of some patients undergoing surgery to capture and trap blood clots that have the potential to cause embolisms.

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These mobile blood clots are one of the most common potentially fatal complications for patients undergoing surgery. Vena Cava filters are implanted in the inferior Vena Cava, a large vein that carries blood to the heart, to prevent blood clots released during surgery from causing pulmonary embolisms; the filters can be left in place in the blood vessels on either a temporary or permanent basis. Doctors image the filters after surgery to determine if they have captured thrombotic material, and to determine when it is safe to remove the filter. Biophan's pioneering technology significantly improves the ability of doctors to image within the filters using MRI.

Biophan has announced the on-line availability of a slide presentation that demonstrates the clear and useful MRI images of Vena Cava filters that the company's proprietary AMRIS technology now makes possible. Biophan's patented technology is the first solution to enable the production of Vena Cava filters that can be accurately imaged by MRI; existing Vena Cava filters produce MRI images of compromised quality and limited diagnostic value.

The images shown in the newly released presentation employ Biophan's "active" MRI solutions, based on the company's proprietary resonant frequency circuitry, which enable superior visualization of implanted medical devices by MRI. The resonant circuit technology was developed by the company's Biophan Europe division, a firm in Germany formerly known as AMRIS GmbH, which is an innovator of medical devices and technology solutions for MRI. Biophan recently acquired a controlling interest in the company.

The unprecedented clarity and diagnostic value of MRI images produced with Biophan's resonant frequency circuitry opens the door to providing physicians a powerful alternative to x-ray cathlab imaging of Vena Cava filters. The images released by Biophan clearly illustrate the inadequacies of both x-ray imaging of the filters, as well as of MRI imaging of conventional Vena Cava filters that do not employ Biophan's solutions.

MRI imaging offers a number of significant medical and diagnostic advantages over x-ray cathlab techniques currently in use. MRI imaging involves no dangerous radiation for patients or health care professionals, while x-ray imaging exposes both patients and practitioners to undesirable ionizing radiation. X-ray cathlab procedures also require the use of interventional catheters and injections of potentially nephro-toxic and allergenic contrast agents, which are not necessary using MRI.

Furthermore, Vena Cava filters cannot be fully assessed by x-ray cathlab imaging. This also presents a significant potential danger to patients, since Vena Cava filters are designed to be removed after a few days, but only if the filter is clear of thrombotic materials. If an attempt to remove the filter is made while it holds trapped thrombotic materials, there is a risk that the clot will be released into the bloodstream, causing a potentially fatal pulmonary embolism. MRI images of Vena Cava filters enhanced by Biophan's technology allow a non-invasive determination of the filter's status, and thus safer timing of its removal.

"The technology and solutions we're working on at our Biophan Europe division represent an important step in our strategy to develop proprietary solutions that provide device manufacturers the technology to create improved products", stated Michael Weiner, CEO of Biophan. "Vena Cava filters provide a lifesaving function during and after cardiac surgery, but their effectiveness and safety are compromised by the difficulty of imaging the interior of existing filters, which is necessary to determine when and if the filter can be safely removed. Biophan's MRI-visible solution enables doctors to give patients all the benefits of Vena Cava filters while reducing the dangers that have been traditionally associated with use of the devices."

Biophan develops and markets cutting-edge technologies designed to make biomedical devices safe and compatible with the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) environment. The company develops enabling technologies for implanted medical systems such as pacemakers and interventional surgical devices such as catheters, guidewires, stents, and other implants to allow them to be safely and effectively imaged under MRI. The technology is also being used to create MRI contrast agents, and has expanded to include other applications, such as drug delivery and power systems derived from body heat. Four Biophan technologies include advances in nanotechnology and thin film coatings.

Committed to growth through innovation and developmental leadership, Biophan and its licensors now hold a total of 114 United States patents, licenses, or applications. This total includes 36 issued United States patents, 6 recently-allowed applications that will issue as patents in the near future, and 72 pending applications at various stages of examination at the United States Patent and Trademark Office, plus international applications. The patents cover areas including nanotechnology (nanomagnetic particle coatings), radio frequency filters, polymer composites, thermo-electric materials for batteries generating power from body heat, and photonics.

Biophan has joint development arrangements with Boston Scientific and NASA's Ames Center for Nanotechnology. Biophan's goal is to make all biomedical devices capable of safely and successfully working with MRI, and delivering other technologies which will improve quality of life. Biophan's MRI images of Vena Cava filters can be viewed as a PowerPoint slide presentation.


Leslie Versweyveld

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