Dr. Mitra began development of his process in a Food and Drug Administration laboratory in Rockville, Md. in 2002. He became associated during the development with Dr. Charles R. Lambert, former director of the Health First Heart Institute. Lambert's name is also on the patent.
Angioplasty and stents are typically used to open up blocked arteries and keep them open. Arteries, however, can become reclogged by plaque build-up, causing health risk and necessitating further surgery.
"I became interested in this work while reading about research going on to implant radiation sources within the body. With radiation from an external source, the dosage can be more easily adjusted and controlled and the procedure is much safer," said Mitra.
The patented process delivers x-ray irradiation using hollow waveguides to an artery to mitigate plaque reoccurrence. The energy can be precisely delivered, reducing potential damage to nearby normal tissue during exposure. Moreover, x-rays have higher penetrating power than optical waves, as in laser therapy. Similarly, Mitra's methodology can deliver precise radiation as a medical therapy to shrink tumors.
Part of Mitra's research was supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation's Bioengineering and Environmental Systems Division.
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