Donald Knight, the president of the Chaska, Minnesota-based startup, said in a Tuesday news release that he has a brother who nearly died during an angioplasty procedure.
“Angioplasty is an effective procedure, but it carries risks,” Knight said. “My goal is to develop a noninvasive alternative to angioplasty.”
Knight plans to have International Cardio (ICC) submit to U.S. Food and Drug Administration testing later this year. The company needs to raise $12 million to complete its plans, according to a business plan (pdf). ICC so far has raised $1.7 million, mostly from its founders and private investors.
Emad Ebbini, an electrical and computer engineering professor at the University of Minnesota, led the team that developed the technology International Cardio has licensed.
Ultrasound shockwaves are a common method for breaking up kidney stones, but clearing out tiny blockages in arteries requires more precise equipment.
Present systems fire ultrasound shots at two- to five-second intervals with little or no feedback control while the energy is being applied, Ebbini said in a news release. The university-developed system images tissue response to the ultrasound beam at intervals of less than 10 milliseconds apart. Those using the beam can pretty much see what it’s doing in real time and adjust accordingly.