Emblem S-ICD: subcutaneous defibrillator without implantation in heart valve

    Cardiovascular diseases are part of the most frequent causes of death throughout the world. Among them we also find the so-called sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), functional alteration that can lead to death if not treated promptly and responsibly every year 350,000 cases pathogens in Europe, including 50,000 in Italy.

    These figures are extremely substantial, that Boston Scientific is helping to elide with Emblem S-ICD, the second generation of defibrillators subcutaneous, able to constantly monitor their heart rate and check for potentially deadly ventricular tachyarrhythmias, with a small electrical discharge helpful to adjust the rhythm and restore normal blood flow. Second generation that reveals how much has been done, in a few years, in terms of technological evolution, efficacy and safety of care and clinical sensitivity.

    To better understand and appreciate this innovation we consider a parallel between:

    Transvenous ICD (previous generation): implanted under radiographic guide, the area of the left shoulder, near the collarbone, has electric wires inserted through a vein directly into the heart valve. Depending on the condition of the heart, they will be placed 1 or 2 leads. After being placed in position, the leads are connected to the heart wall for connectivity and an optimal monitoring.

    Emblem S-ICD:the pulse generator and the electrode system Emblem S-ICD, under the guidance of anatomical landmarks, are implanted under the skin on the left side of the body, near the rib cage. The system Emblem S-ICD delivers therapy without the need to implant wires in heart valve leaving intact heart and blood vessels.

    It is clear that it is a transvenous ICD that Emblem S-ICD are designed to deliver a defibrillation (electric shock) life-saving in the case of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) or heart failure.

    We reach, now, to the fundamental differences: they reside precisely in the total absence Emblem for S-ICD of contact with the heart, in order to minimize the invasiveness and maximize the effectiveness. Emblem S-ICD leaves the heart and vascular system intact analyzing heart rhythm, rather than individual beats, avoiding potential complications associated with transvenous leads in the ICD. Also – Another essential point – lies in both its battery life of about 7 years, equivalent to a longevity of 40% greater, both in a device thinner by 20%.


    Last but not least, remember that came with Emblem S-ICD’s innovative “management of patients at a distance”, by Lattitude NXT, the system that makes it easy for healthcare professionals anytime access to information and operating status pacemaker in their patients, allowing also alert notifications via text message or e-mail.

    All this avoids the complications associated with transvenous leads, that is:

    • Endocarditis
    • Drilling
    • Hemothorax
    • Pneumothorax
    • Thromboembolic events
    • Vascular complications

    Gaining with:

    • The elimination of potential vascular damage
    • The reduction of a potential systemic infection
    • Maintaining intact venous access
    • Exceptional resistance to manual cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
    • An isolated system in polyurethan

    We end this discussion with a witness:

    When you diagnose a heart condition like that you’re not the only one to pay the price – he said talking about his family, Graham Harper, one of the patients who Emblem S-ICD has changed my life. Being able to do what you want when you want, live your life normally, safely. The device protects you every day, 24 hours on 24, and now my wife and my children no longer worried when I travel alone … only care about the security guards at the airport, when I get to the metal detector.


    BioPen, a 3D printing pen to rebuild bones

    We had already talked about devices like 3Doodler who put 3D printing literally in the hands of consumers. is the time, now, of a device for “most experienced hands”: those of the surgeons.

    It’s called BioPen and has been designed and developed at the University of Wollongong (UOW) in Australia. This tool is designed to allow surgeons to “draw” live cells and growth factors directly on the site of an injury in order to help speed up the regeneration of bone or cartilage.

    Instead of plastic filaments, BioPen extrudes the cellular material within a biopolymer (eg alginate) which is in turn enclosed in an outer layer of gel material. Both layers, external and internal, are combined inside the head of the pen. The surgeon’s task will be to “draw” directly on the affected part, filling, for example, a section of damaged bone.

    As soon as the material is ejected from the pen, thanks to the action of a source of ultraviolet light at low power fixed on BioPen, it is solidified. This allows the doctor to create a 3D scaffold layer by layer.
    Once positioned within the wound, the cells differentiate into nerve, muscle or bone to form functional tissue. But the device is not only thought to cells, is in fact conceived also for the initialization of growth factors or other types of medication. The researchers argue that the BioPen bring advantages in operating rooms and for its accuracy and for ease of transport.

    “This type of treatment may be suitable for the repair of bones severely damaged and for the recovery of cartilage, for example, in the case of sports injuries or in case of road accidents,” says Professor Choong. “The research team of Professor Wallace combining stem cell science and polymer chemistry to help surgeons in the design and customization of solutions for bone reconstruction in real time.”

    The team distributed the pen to the doctors of the St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne, led by Professor Peter Choong, who will work to perfect the cellular material for use in clinical trials.

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