UCLA researchers have developed a device to treat patients with hollow organ deficiency (including short gut syndrome) by enhancing the organ length using mechanical force. The device is delivered into any portion of the body passage and then anchored at a specific location. Over time, the structure expands and slowly elongates the passage in a longitudinal direction.
Short gut syndrome is a condition in which patients have insufficient length of intestine to maintain normal digestion and absorption. In the United States, over 100,000 patients suffer from the disease each year. Treatment options include feeding the patient intravenously, surgically altering the intestine, or transplanting the intestine. These therapies have limited success and transplantation is limited to donor supply. Research within the past decade has suggested the possibility of treating short gut syndrome via intestinal lengthening devices.
Researchers at UCLA have developed a device to mechanically stretch out the intestine through the application of longitudinal force. The device is made of shape memory materials such as nickel-titanium or biocompatible polymers. During implantation, the device is collapsed to its minimum size, followed by deployment into the intestinal tract via a push rod. The structure then binds to a particular location, and slowly expands over a period of several weeks. In doing so, it applies longitudinal force, resulting in the lengthening of the intestine.
The invention was tested was tested in a series of experiments in rats. The device was implanted and the animals were sacrificed after 3 weeks, after which intestinal measurements were made. The measurements showed considerable increase in segment length.
|United States Of America||Issued Patent||9138336||09/22/2015||2009-227|
short gut syndrome, intestine, lengthening, treatment, endoscopy, longitudinal, stretching, biocompatible, medical device