New sheath provides exceptional access to challenging anatomies and branch vessels

W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc. announced the commercial availability of the GORE® DrySeal Flex Introducer Sheath, after recently gaining clearance for use by regulatory bodies in the U.S., Europe, Canada, and Australia. The device is designed with a distinct combination of enhanced flexibility, kink resistance, and a hydrophilic coating to facilitate access to challenging anatomies and branch vessels, such as the common iliac arteries, during endovascular repair procedures.

The 12 Fr x 45 cm sheath configuration is engineered specifically for use with the GORE® EXCLUDER® Iliac Branch Endoprosthesis (IBE), the only device indicated in the U.S. for endovascular repair (EVAR) of common iliac artery aneurysms or aortoiliac aneurysms. An EVAR often requires multiple wires and catheters be transferred into the vessel via an introducer sheath, which can lead to blood loss through the sheath valve. The sheath’s exclusive DrySeal valve was designed to minimize blood loss, enabling the introduction of multiple devices with proven hemostasis control.

“Nearly a third of patients being considered for EVAR have an aneurysm that extends to the iliac artery. The IBE is a trusted solution in such cases, but previously no introducer sheaths designed for use with this device existed,” said Mr. Marcus Brooks, Consultant Vascular Surgeon, North Bristol NHS Trust. “With the GORE DrySeal Flex Introducer Sheath, I now have a sheath specifically designed for use with the IBE and flexible enough for easy access to the iliac branch vessels.”

The new sheath leverages technology from Gore’s long-trusted GORE® DrySeal Sheath, which features a hydrophilic coating for improved access into vessels. In addition, the GORE DrySeal Flex Introducer Sheath offers an optimized profile and new configurations which include working lengths of 33, 45, and 65 cm.

“The availability of this new sheath provides more options to treat a broader range of patient anatomy,” said Jason T. Lee, MD, Professor of Surgery at Stanford School of Medicine. “The sheath supports my cases from start to finish, offering confidence for a wider range of applications than ever before.”

“By linking our tested GORE DrySeal Flex Introducer Sheath with our endovascular portfolio, we continue to make great strides in advancing patient care,” said Ryan Takeuchi, Gore Aortic Business Leader. “We remain committed to making these innovative devices available to treat more patients globally.”

The GORE DrySeal Flex Introducer Sheath and IBE are available in the U.S., Europe, Canada, and Australia. For more information please visit http://www.goremedical.com/

A virtual brain helps decrypt epilepsy

Researchers at CNRS, INSERM, Aix-Marseille University and AP-HM have just created a virtual brain that can reconstitute the brain of a person affected by epilepsy for the first time. From this work we understand better how the disease works and can also better prepare for surgery.

Worldwide, one percent of the population suffers from epilepsy. The disease affects individuals differently, so personalized diagnosis and treatment are important. Currently we have few ways to understand the pathology’s mechanisms of action, and mainly use visual interpretation of an MRI and electroencephalogram. This is especially difficult because 50% of patients do not present anomalies visible in MRI, so the cause of their epilepsy is unknown.

Researchers have succeeded for the first time in developing a personalized virtual brain, by designing a base “template” and adding individual patient information, such as the specific way the brain’s regions are organized and connected in each individual. Mathematical models that cause cerebral activity can be tested on the virtual brain. In this way, scientists have been able to reproduce the place where epilepsy seizures initiate and how they propagate. This brain therefore has real value in predicting how seizures occur in each patient, which could lead to much more precise diagnosis.

Moreover, 30% of epileptic patients do not respond to drugs, so their only hope remains surgery. This is effective if the surgeon has good indications of where to operate. The virtual brain gives surgeons a virtual “platform.” In this way they can determine where to operate while avoiding invasive procedures, and especially prepare for the operation by testing different surgical possibilities, seeing which would be most effective and what the consequences would be, something that is obviously impossible to do on the patient.

In the long run, the team’s goal is to provide personalized medicine for the brain, by offering virtual, tailored, therapeutic solutions that are specific for each patient. The researchers are currently working on clinical trials to demonstrate the predictive value of their discovery. This technology is also being tested on other pathologies that affect the brain, such as strokes, Alzheimer’s, degenerative neurological diseases, and multiple sclerosis.

A press release can be found on The National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) website.