As of 2019, heart disease and stroke placed as the top two causes of global death toll (WHO Global Health Estimates). The main symptoms of these diseases include arrhythmias, aorta disease, coronary artery disease, and others which require precise interventional procedures for their treatment.
The conventional method for interventional treatment is to manually manipulate the guidewire inside the patients’ body by hand. This limits active steering of the guidewire and is highly dependent on the experience/skill of the operator, which potentially leads to varied success rates. Since the manipulation fully depends on the operator’s skills, it takes longer to complete the procedure, increasing the amount of radiation exposure for both patient and operator. It also limits accessible blood vessels in the complex vascular system.
The company suggests a magnetic guidewire microrobot and a 3D magnetic field control system for its manipulation as the next generation interventional treatment. The company is seeking to overcome the limits of conventional methods and maximize efficiency and success rate. Electromagnetic coils generate an electromagnetic field, which is harmless to the human body and allow active steering of the guidewires inside the complex blood vessels. This allows the operator to deliver the guidewire and other necessary medical tools to targeted lesions faster, safer, and with more precision.
Bio-medical microrobot system is composed of magnetic guidewire microrobot, current control box, user interface software, and electromagnetic coils that are placed and fixed under the patients’ bed. Coils placed under patients’ beds maximize patient accessibility for the medical team when in need. These coils are also designed in a way that is compatible with conventional medical image equipment such as X-rays. It can be uninstalled/unfixed after use and kept secured separately until the next use. Once removed, the surgery room is ready to be used for other general procedures. Hence, there is no need for an exclusive surgery room for its own purpose.
The system may also be applied in target therapy, by using magnetic microrobots that carry a certain amount of drug, and delivering it to target lesions. With the identical principle, these drug-carrying microrobots could deliver therapeutic agents to a specific lesion inside the body using the 3D magnetic field control system.
Conventional methods such as drug treatment include drug administration through oral intake and injection. One of the major weaknesses is that the drug also affects the normal tissues simultaneously. As result, the amount of drug delivered to the target is often inadequate, along with the risk of side effects on unwanted areas. With magnetic microrobots and the 3D magnetic field control system for its manipulation, it is able to deliver drugs to the specific lesion for full efficiency of the treatment.
In the current stage of development, the company offers a prototype available for demonstration and already have conducted animal demonstration sessions with surgeons from one of the leading hospitals in Korea. The company is now optimizing the system and making improvements according to the feedback from the demonstration while working on procedures for medical device approval.
The company is one of the leading entrepreneurs in the field of bio-medical microrobot system development. Its core members own the largest number of patents applied for the past 5 years, with more than 10 years of experience in the research of microrobot and its application in the medical field.
Despite the innovative technology and developmental competency, as a start-up, the company has limited resources for aggressive global marketing. Hence, the company is highly motivated and driven to contract partnerships. The company is seeking to contract with European distributors under distribution service agreements to successfully enter the European market.