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Michael Phillips


Vena Medical


Vena Medical makes a forward viewing imaging microcatheter to facilitate rapid navigation in tortuous vasculature during interventional procedures.

Interventional physicians rely on an X-ray technique known as fluoroscopy to navigate guidewires and microcatheters through patient vasculature. Fluoroscopy only affords a 2D navigational perspective which often causes delays in tortuous vasculature. This image-guided technique results in long-term radiation exposure to interventional physicians who have higher instances of a variety of health problems such as cataracts, leukemia and left hemisphere brain cancer. Finally, fluoroscopy relies on a nephrotoxic iodine contrast that causes CIAKI in 7 percent of patients. On average, each instance of CIAKI is an 8,000 cost to the health care system.

Vena Medical has created its first-generation Vena Microcatheter, which features embedded fiber optics to provide physicians with a forward-viewing intravascular navigational perspective. The Vena Microcatheter uses visible light fiber optics and a saline flush to visualize inside blood vessels. This will allow physicians to quickly navigate tortuous vasculature and bifurcations to minimize delays. This also limits prolonged radiation and contrast use in complex procedures. The next generation of the Vena Microcatheter will eliminate the use of a saline flush by leveraging short-wave infrared optics that image through the blood as if it wasn’t even there.