Shockwave Medical has been granted a patent for a system that uses a catheter with a balloon and electrodes to break obstructions in body lumens. The method involves inflating the balloon with a liquid, supplying a voltage pulse to create a shock wave that passes through the balloon to the obstruction, and repeating the process to crack the obstruction. The system aims to treat calcified lesions in vessel walls. GlobalData’s report on Shockwave Medical gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on Shockwave Medical, Smart surgical instruments was a key innovation area identified from patents. Shockwave Medical's grant share as of September 2023 was 47%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Patent granted for a system to treat calcified lesions

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Shockwave Medical Inc

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11771449B2) describes a method for treating calcified lesions in the wall of a vessel using a catheter-based approach. The method involves several steps to effectively crack the calcified lesion and expand the vessel.

The method begins by inserting a catheter into the vessel, which includes a hollow sheath for a guidewire and a dilating balloon sealed at the distal end. The catheter also contains a pair of spaced apart electrodes located within the balloon and outside the hollow sheath. Once the catheter is positioned near the calcified lesion, the balloon is inflated with a liquid to fix it to the vessel wall.

The next step involves supplying a voltage pulse across the electrode pair. The pulse has a short duration on the order of microseconds and sufficient energy to create a plasma arc between the electrodes. This results in the formation of a shock wave that passes through the balloon and targets the calcified lesion. This supplying step is repeated multiple times to generate enough shock waves to crack the calcified lesion. The dilating balloon then expands the vessel.

Additional features of the method include advancing the catheter over a guide wire positioned within the hollow sheath, using a voltage pulse between 100 and 1,000 volts, spacing the electrode pair apart radially or longitudinally, and pulverizing at least a portion of the calcified lesion during the cracking process.

The method also involves using a conductive liquid, such as saline, within the balloon. Furthermore, the catheter includes a reflector to direct the angle of the shock waves. A power source is used to supply high voltage pulses to the electrodes, and reflecting signals are sensed to determine the quality of the calcification and/or the pulverization of the calcified lesion.

This patented method offers a catheter-based approach for treating calcified lesions in vessel walls. By utilizing shock waves generated by a plasma arc, the method aims to effectively crack the calcified lesion and expand the vessel. The various features and steps outlined in the patent provide a detailed framework for implementing this treatment method.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.