Wayne State researchers add photoacoustic imaging to improve EVLA treatment for venous diseases


A research team led by Mohammad Mehrmohammadi, Ph.D., assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Wayne State University, and Loay Kabbani, M.D., a vascular surgery specialist with Henry Ford Health System, is developing a technique to enhance endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) by incorporating photoacoustic imaging technology.

EVLA is a procedure used to reduce symptoms of venous reflux disease, an underlying cause of varicose veins, blood clots and other health issues. Laser energy is delivered to the target area through a catheter, creating an intense, localized heat that closes off the problem vein.

Mehrmohammadi and Kabbani’s revised method combines the ablation procedure with photoacoustic imaging in order to track the catheter inside the body and monitor the temperature at the tip of the catheter. Doing so will optimize the accuracy of the procedure and allow for real-time temperature monitoring, which will reduce complications such as heat-induced thrombosis.

“We believe that the developed technology is very practical and easy to adopt since it can be easily integrated into current procedures with no need for a major change in existing EVLA equipment,” said Mehrmohammadi. “With very minimal change, we can significantly enhance the quality of the EVLA procedure.”

This technology, sponsored by the Henry Ford Innovation Center, received an Mi-Kickstart Award, which offers early-stage funding to biomedical researchers in the state of Michigan. The award is part of the MTRAC for Life Sciences Innovation Hub, a program aimed to enhance the commercial potential of research projects for Michigan-based institutions and nonprofits.


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