Rf Bipolar Tissue Welding

Period of Performance: 09/30/1997 - 03/31/1999


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Enable Medical Corporation
West Chester, OH 45069
Principal Investigator


All surgeries involve some type of tissue reapproximation or closure. Further with endoscopic approaches, new closure techniques are needed; i.e. , suturing is impractical and even impossible in many situations. Tissue welding is an exciting new approach, which depends on precise apposition of tissue edges and on tissue heating to cause protein denaturation while avoiding thermal injury. We have devised a new type of bipolar RF energy tissue welding technology. Our design allows for multiple local current pathways, high current densities, and lower impedance. This design should allow our bipolar RF energy tissue welding device to work with most generators and to have greater coagulation efficiency. Enable's technology may be particularly well suited to applications for linear stapling devices, a market of over $500MM annually. If Enable's technology could replace even a portion of this market, the opportunity is significant. Phase I goals are to fabricate a prototype tissue welding device, to test this device on the benchtop, and to compare our bipolar RF energy tissue welding device with other tissue closing devices in acute in-vivo studies. In Phase II, we will optimize the fabrication and design of the tissue welding device, and will test these devices in chronic animal studies. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATION: Our newly designed bipolar tissue welding devices will overcome the limitations of current bipolar scissors. The scissors would help to expand endoscopic surgery, and thus improve patient care. The endoscopic market is a rapidly growing segment, having a growth rate of over 20%year, with total instrument sales exceeding $1BB/year.