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Hebrew University scientist develop technique for eliminating reblockage of arteries
Date:3/10/2009

Jerusalem, March 9, 2009 An easily implementable technique to avoid reblockage of arteries that have been cleared through angioplasty and stent insertion has been developed by researchers led by Prof. Boris Rubinsky of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Angioplasty is the "gold-standard" treatment for acute myocardial infarction (heart attack), which is the result of abrupt interruption in blood supply to part of the beating heart, usually due to plaque-rupture in an atherosclerotic (hardened) coronary artery.

In angioplasty, a cardiologist dilates the blocked artery by inserting a balloon that is inflated at the point of blockage. This is usually followed by coronary stent implantation to protect the artery and prevent restenosis (reocclusion or reblockage). However, the procedure damages the arterial wall, and therefore restonosis of the dilated artery remains a major clinical problem in cardiology, as well as in other fields of clinical medicine.

Since heart disease remains the leading cause of mortality in the western world, the technique developed by Prof. Rubinsky's research teams offer a highly valuable tool for dealing with cardiology patients. Prof. Rubinsky is the director of the Center for Bioengineering in the Service of Humanity and Society at the Rachel and Selim Benin School of Computer Science and Engineering of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a professor in the graduate school at the University of California, Berkeley.

The technique employs the biophysical phenomenon of irreversible electroporation (IRE). IRE destroys cells within seconds, using very short electric field pulses. It causes no damage to structures other than the cells themselves. Compared with other technologies for local destruction of cells and tissue, IRE is simple and does not require special training of the medical team.

In IRE, electrical fields are applied across targeted cells, penetrating the cell membranes, Thi
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Contact: Jerry Barach
jerryb@savion.huji.ac.il
972-258-82904
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Source:Eurekalert

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