Mauna Kea Technologies: Study of Cellvizio for Pediatric Cardiac Surgery

Mauna Kea Technologies inventor of Cellvizio, the multidisciplinary confocal laser endomicroscopy platform, announced today the launch of a ground-breaking new clinical study led by researchers at the University of Utah School of Medicine and Harvard Medical School called: “Evaluation of Fiberoptic Confocal Microscopy for Pediatric Cardiac Surgery.”

Mauna Kea Technologies said that this cardiac surgery study, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will explore a very important new application in the field of pediatric cardiac surgery, adding to the body of evidence on the use of Cellvizio in a growing variety of surgical procedures.

The NIH funding will advance pre-clinical research on the use of the Cellvizio system to help surgeons avoid damaging vital cardiac tissue during surgical procedures. Damage to the cardiac conduction system is currently a major risk in pediatric cardiac surgery that can result in electro-mechanical dysfunction and require pacemaker therapy. The project is being led by Robert Hitchcock, Ph.D., and Frank B. Sachse, both Associate Professors in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Utah, along with Aditya Kaza, Assistant Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Neonatal Cardiac Surgery Program at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Kaza, commented, “As a surgeon I know the difference this technology will make in the smallest and most vulnerable patients. Intraoperative confocal microscopy is a powerful new tool for cardiac surgeons and I am anxious to continue working with my colleagues in Utah to bring this imaging technology into the operating room.”

Dr. Hitchcock, added, “This collaboration is a perfect example of a multidisciplinary approach to bringing new technology to the clinic. We’ve been working diligently on this new approach for pediatric congenital heart surgery since 2010. The project has been supported by the NIH, USTAR, The University of Utah and Boston Children’s Hospital. We are now beginning this preclinical research phase which should pave the way for our first human clinical trials in 2018.”

Congenital Heart Disease is one of the most common types of birth defect. It is estimated that at least 40,000 infants are expected to be affected by congenital heart defects each year in the U.S. Of these, approximately 25% require invasive treatment in the first year of life1. There are approximately 25,000 pediatric cardiac surgery procedures performed in the U.S. each year, said Mauna.

Sacha Loiseau, Ph.D., Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Mauna Kea Technologies, said, “Cellvizio’s unique ability to provide real-time, in-vivo microscopic imaging makes it well suited to add value to a wide range of surgical procedures where it is important to discriminate between tissue types. We are excited to be partnering with researchers from the University of Utah and Harvard to apply these capabilities in pediatric cardiac surgery to help surgeons avoid damaging important areas of the heart that could impact the health of these very young patients for the rest of their lives.”

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