Philips Healthcare and the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) have jointly awarded £1m to King’s College London to develop heart-imaging technology to combat cardiac arrhythmia.
Prof Tobias Schaeffter, from the university’s Division of Imaging Sciences, will use the grant to develop novel devices for minimal-invasive treatment of the condition, which causes the heart to beat irregularly, potentially leading to strokes, heart failure or sudden death.
It affects five per cent of the population, including Olympic athlete Andy Baddeley.
Cardiac arrhythmia diagnosis and treatment is usually performed under X-ray guidance, but this imaging technique offers no 3D information and no soft tissue contrast to the cardiologist performing the operation.
The project will develop the first Magnetic Resonance (MR) guided arrhythmia therapy procedure using a novel catheter device, which avoids radiation completely.
The team will also develop non-invasive MR-techniques to visualise the treatment lesions for individual assessment of therapy.
Philips’ research programme with King’s, MARGITA (Magnetic Resonance Guided Therapy of Cardiac Arrhythmia) will also involve pre-clinical evaluation of prototype catheters at King’s College.