Los Angeles Based Meridian Health Receives a Patent License from NASA

By Joseph Mandour on December 20, 2011

blood-artery-200x150 Los Angeles – NASA signed a patent license agreement allowing Meridian Health Systems P.C., a Los Angeles based company, to use its experimental imaging system to treat atherosclerosis. NASA engineers at the Johnson Space Center originally developed the technology to use millimeter wave electromagnetic energy for experimental imaging. After realizing the millimeter wave radiation would not work for imaging, engineers sought other uses and discovered its usefulness in treating atherosclerosis.

Subsequently, the Johnson Space Center filed and received patent number 6,496,736 for the technology. The patent covers a method to treat atherosclerosis by delivering microwave energy of 3-300 gigahertz in less than a second to specifically targeted arterial locations.

The system uses W-band millimeter wave radiation. When combined with a miniature catheter-antenna and placed into a hardened artery, the wave transmissions penetrate and restore elasticity to arterial lesions without affecting healthy cells.

This selective targeting prevents inflammation and long-term side-effects commonly accompanying angioplasty. Moreover, doctors can customize a temperature profile for each lesion, depending on its size and type.

The Johnson Space Center made the technology available through the JCS’s Technology Transfer and Commercialization Office, to transfer technology from NASA to benefit industry and the space program. It openly invited companies to license the technology for commercial use.

Meridian Health Systems will begin clinical trials with NASA designed prototypes and aims to obtain approval from the Food and Drug Administration for the technology application. The company has already completed experiments on pig arteries to measure microwave and millimeter wave band operation with the Johnson Space Center under a Space Act Agreement to obtain data on an optimal antenna size, pulse repetition rate, and level of transmitted power.

Atherosclerosis occurs when cholesterol and fat deposits cause hardening of arterial walls, constricting blood flow. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.

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Posted in: Patent Registration