OHSU receives $7.8 million NIH grant to develop first ultrasound to also deliver heart treatment

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Oregon Health & Science University is leading a new multicenter partnership that hopes to revolutionize the treatment of various forms of heart disease. Instead of using one device for ultrasound imaging of the heart and another to deliver treatment, this team plans to develop, for the first time, one miniaturized device that can do both. The team will create three different ultrasound devices that provide physicians a better look inside the heart than ever before during a procedure and deliver lifesaving therapies using the same device. The first heart condition to be addressed with be life-threatening irregular heart beats, known as arrhythmias. A condition affecting more than 2 million Americans.

The multicenter partnership, led by OHSU pediatric cardiologist David Sahn, M.D., a pioneer of echocardiography, was awarded a $7.8 million Bioengineering Partnership grant by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health. The unique team includes General Electric, University of Michigan, Pennsylvania State University, JOMED (EndoSonics) and Irvine Biomedical, Inc., all leaders in the development of biomedical equipment and cardiac catheterization. Sahn spent seven years forming this unique team and securing NIH funding. According to the NIH, the grant program was designed to encourage multidisciplinary teams of engineers, scientists and clinicians to solve medical and biological problems within a five - to10 - year timeframe.

"This feels great and is a real affirmation in recognizing that they believe in our vision," said Sahn, professor of pediatrics (cardiology) in the OHSU School of Medicine. "The most exciting element will be to integrate therapy with imaging, which we expect to be more efficient and improve patient outcomes."

The core of the five-year grant will be to develop three types of miniaturized ultrasound devices that can be inserted into the heart to provide treatment through a sing

Contact: Christine Pashley
Oregon Health & Science University

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