Probe of Regional Lung Function

Summary This invention provides a direct means for measuring the dynamic properties of small regions of the lung of a living animal in real time. The parameters of lung function which may be analyzed include: (i) the surface area to volume ration, (ii) the pulmonary capillary blood volume density and (iii) the pulmonary oxygen saturation.

Current methods for analysis of lung structure and functions suffer either from the limitation of low resolution (only large lesions are detected) or from the limitation of being static, not dynamic methoeds, or both. The present invention describes the only methods available for dynamic, real time measurement of lung structure and function. The structural and functional properties of regions of the lung as small as a few centimeters in diameter (representing only a few alveoli) have been analyzed providing unprecedented resolution.

Applications This technology is useful as a diagnostic aid during surgery for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease to provide real time, high resolution analysis of dysfunctional regions of the lung. An example of such surgery includes lung reduction surgery which has recently been used to treat patients with severe emphysema. Measurements of lung function may also be made through the use of a bronchoscope, a thoracoscope or in neonates via the intercostal spaces. The techniques are, therefore, not limited to the operating room, but may have broader application for diagnosis of respiratory distress syndrome and analysis of functional and non-functional tissue surrounding a tumor. Finally, because heart and lung function are intimately related, these methods may also be useful for analysis of cardiac function. For Further Information Please Contact the Director of Business Development Michal Preminger Email: michal_preminger@hms.harvard.edu Telephone: (617) 432-0920

Inventor(s): Topulos, George

Type of Offer: Licensing



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