Prototype X-Ray System Treats Artery

Photoelectron Corporation has developed a working prototype of a new system for delivering x-rays from inside blood vessels following an operation for clogged arteries.

The x-ray source uses a combination of lasers and high voltages to produce x-rays, a concept based on Photoelectron’s patented technology. The new miniature system is completely self-contained and its key components are less than 1mm in diameter.

It is designed to be placed at the end of a fine, flexible catheter. A clinical version of the system could be placed inside blood vessels to deliver a dose of radiation to the interior surface, sufficient to prevent ‘restenosis’ after angioplasty or a stent procedure.

Dr. Euan Thomson, Photoelectron’s President and CEO stated ‘I would stress at this stage that this device is only a working prototype. However, it proves a valuable concept, that using our patented approach, components of this size can produce sufficient x-rays to deliver a therapeutic dose of radiation’.

The potential for an x-ray system to be placed inside blood vessels is believed to be considerable. In balloon angioplasty, arteries occluded by plaque formation are opened using an inflated catheter. However, in some patients this procedure initiates a repair mechanism that may result in restenosis (reclosing) of the vessel.

Studies indicate that if the lesion is treated with radiation, this restenosis is inhibited. Several products based on the use of radioactive materials for this purpose are currently under evaluation throughout the world. It is believed that use of an x-ray system as an alternative would reduce the inconvenience and potential hazards of handling radioactive materials and placing them inside patients.

Dr. Thomson added ‘Whilst we continue to concentrate our efforts on marketing our existing range of products, this development further demonstrates our potential for growth based on the considerable development efforts of the last ten years.’

On the web at: