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Breakthrough Technology Combines Detection and Treatment of Nerve-Related Disorders in Single Procedure

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 18 Apr 2024
Image: The catheter is equipped with a microchip (Photo courtesy of Autonomix Medical)
Image: The catheter is equipped with a microchip (Photo courtesy of Autonomix Medical)

The peripheral nervous system (PNS) serves as the communication network that links the brain and spinal cord to every other part of the body. It consists of two parts: the somatic nervous system, which governs voluntary movement and sensory information, and the autonomic nervous system, which manages involuntary functions like heart rate and digestion. Essentially, the PNS is critical in almost all diseases due to its role in signal transmission throughout the body. Problems such as overactivity, disruption, or dysfunction in the PNS can lead to numerous health issues, including pain, cardiovascular diseases like hypertension, and gastrointestinal disorders. Now, a first-in-class technology platform comprising a catheter-based microchip sensing array can detect and differentiate neural signals as well as perform nerve ablations, killing the nerves that are misfiring to relieve pain. This technology can sense individual neural signals with sensitivity up to 3,000 times greater than current methods, revolutionizing the field of electrophysiology and pain management.

Autonomix Medical’s (The Woodlands, TX, USA) catheter-based technology offers a comprehensive solution by combining the detection and treatment of nerve-related disorders in a single procedure, thereby streamlining the process and enhancing patient outcomes. This two-fold technology operates with the precision of a smart bomb, allowing physicians to accurately target specific target nerves that are misfiring and eliminate them through ablation or burning to relieve pain. This method is superior to conventional treatments used by doctors to treat suspected areas by attempting to hit the right nerves that can be imprecise, miss the intended nerves, and damage the surrounding ones.

Autonomix’s breakthrough technology employs its proprietary microchip and a unique antenna sensing array to deliver accurate treatments via a safe and simple transvascular procedure. The microchip converts signals from the body into digital signals sent directly to a computer screen. This eliminates the need for the faint neural signals to travel through several feet of wires and allows them to be read on the spot. The sensing antenna can detect exceptionally weak neural signals, as low as 0.5 microvolts, compared to the 10-15 microvolts required by existing technologies. Its novel basket design allows locating neural signals in a 3D space to enable the highest level of precision treatment. This technology is applicable for treating various diseases associated with nervous system dysregulation. Initially, Autonomix is focusing on alleviating pain in patients with pancreatic cancer or pancreatitis, who do not find relief from current treatments. The company has secured a US patent for its proprietary catheter-based technology for managing cancer-related pain.

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