NeuroNexus now produces Cardiac Probes, thin polyimide surface arrays that conform to the surface of the heart for direct EP recordings. These probes have a wide variety of potential applications in the field, but today let's talk about one particular application that we have been helping develop through a collaboration with the Ardell lab at UCLA: infarct localization.
The origin location of a heart attack is an important parameter in treating the issue, and conversely, measuring the behavior of the cardiac tissue in the area of an infarct could help to early idenfity and/or possibly prevent infarcts. As such, a branch of cardiac research involves improving the infact localization process and increasing the amount of local information available for characterization.
(Image via Google image search, attributed here)
The research approach chosen by our collaborator was, initially, to design a sock with wire leads at spaced intervals with the goal of recording different locations on the heart simultaneously (Image here, via Yamakawa et al). Then, in animal experiments, infarcts could be induced through various means and the EKG characteristics at the different locations on the heart could be recorded and analyzed.
NeuroNexus Cardiac Probes represent an evolution on the "heart sock" approach, allowing similar information to be gathered directly from the heart but at much higher density, with more fidelity and in sophisticated packages that allow more specific localization and signal propagation information.
Here is an example of what an external EKG signal might look like during an infarct:
(Image a stillshot from video, attributed here)
Note some of the significant features of the signal, such as changes to the S and T waves. Now, here is an example of similar data, recorded directly on a swine heart in the Ardell lab using NeuroNexus Cardiac Probes:
In this example, we recorded EP signal on 64 sites simultaneously within a few square millimeters in a specific location on the heart's surface. Thus, we get 64 high-fidelity, simultaneously sampled EP signals to further analyze. As labeled, recordings taken during the infarct exhibited signature changes in the S and T waves, that then returned to normal levels once the episode was over.
Another feature allowed by utilizing the NeuroNexus Cardiac Probes in conjunction with the SmartBox and the V2 software, is that we can also map each recording site during data acquisition to idenfity exactly where, even within the probe coverage area, the infarct signal originates and propagates.
Thus, NeuroNexus tools from the Cardiac Probes to the SmartBox data acquisition system offers an entire work-flow experience in cardiac infarct localization that can't be replicated by any other vendor on the market. And this is a fairly new area of development for the company, so the product lines and potential applications will only continue to grow and strengthen as the field is further characterized.
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