(May 23, 2012) ---University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) alumna Jordan Kaufmann, Ph.D.; UTSA College of Engineering Dean Mauli Agrawal; and UT Medicine San Antonio cardiologist Steven Bailey, M.D., have launched Cardiovate, a technology start-up that will offer a new and much-needed cardiovascular stent-graft to prevent aneurysm leakage following cardiovascular surgeries.
Kaufmann, an alumna of the UTSA College of Engineering's Department of Biomedical Engineering, developed the stent-graft as part of her doctoral research with UTSA's Agrawal and Bailey, division chief for cardiology in the School of Medicine of the UT Health Science Center San Antonio.
"To take an idea that we were throwing around and develop it all the way to a product for a start-up company has been an incredible opportunity," said Kaufmann. "The path epitomized both translational research and multidisciplinary studies, which has been a great educational experience."
Approximately 1.2 million people in the United States suffer from an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Aneurysm rupture is the nation's 13th leading cause of death. Surgeons perform approximately 65,000 abdominal aortic aneurysm repairs annually.
However, in a surgical repair procedure called endovascular aneurysm repair, one of every six patients experiences stent-graft leakage from traditional stent-grafts in the month following surgery. Additionally, 20 to 30 percent of patients require additional corrective surgery as much as six to eight years later.
While pursuing her doctoral degree in biomedical engineering at UTSA under the supervision of Agrawal and Bailey, Kaufmann developed a unique scaffold, which promotes tissue formation. The product, called a tissue-engineering scaffold for aneurysm repair (TESAR), creates a tissue barrier between the blood and the aneurysm after it is implanted.
The scaffold promotes healthy tissue formation to repave the aneurysm wall. Once the scaffold is in place, the aneurysm stops expanding and the risk of rupture decreases. After new tissue is in place, the scaffold degrades and is safely reabsorbed by the body.
Cardiovate's TESAR stent-graft has been shown in the laboratory to reduce post-operative complications during aneurysm repair surgery such as the need for additional corrective surgeries following the initial procedure. Also, the natural tissue is a better match for biological healing than the materials found in traditional stent-grafts.
Between now and March 2013, Kaufmann, Agrawal and Bailey will work together to refine the manufacturing of the TESAR, and they will test it to ensure it conforms to the highest safety and quality standards.
"The launch of Cardiovate is testament to the phenomenal technology being created in UTSA labs and the great entrepreneurial ecosystem the university fosters," said Cory Hallam, director of the UTSA Center for Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship. "These types of spin-offs have the ability to save lives, create jobs, build multi-million-dollar markets and significantly reduce health-care costs caused by complications that arise with the existing technologies."
The scholars expect to make the product available for licensing to a larger company in 2013. Ideally, it then would be on the market for vascular surgeons to use shortly after being evaluated by the FDA.
All UTSA faculty, staff and students are invited to attend open forums featuring finalist candidates for the dean of the UTSA College of Sciences.
Various Locations, Main Campus
UTSA is an early voting site for the statewide General Election.
H-E-B Student Union Bexar Room (HSU 1.102), Main Campus
The UTSA Office of the President and the UTSA College of Public Policy present a discussion on San Antonio’s charter amendments. Event will be livestreamed to UTSA Main Campus, Travis Room – HSU 2.202
Buena Vista Street Building Aula Canaria (BVB 1.328), Downtown Campus
More than 75 local, state and national graduate and professional schools will showcase their programs at the Main Campus. It's free and open to the public. Interested attendees are encouraged to register for the event in advance.
Sombrilla Plaza, Main Campus
UTSA Associate Professor of Anthropology Jill Fleuriet will moderate a neutral dialogue on what is and what is not protected as free speech, what constitutes hate speech and a university's role in supporting free speech on their respective campus.
Student Union Retama Auditorium (SU 2.02.02), Main Campus
Hosted by the UTSA Office of Information Technology Student Innovation Coalition, Tech Talk is a forum for students to share thoughts about technology on campus with IT professionals and learn about products and services available to help them succeed.
Student Union Denman Room (SU 2.01.28), Main Campus
UTSA Libraries will host Claudia García-Louis, assistant professor, at the Downtown Library for her presentation AfroLatinxs: Navigating Blackness and Latinidad in the Age of Trump, as part of the popular Pizza and Research series.
Buena Vista Street Building Downtown Library (BVB 2.314), Downtown Campus
Celebrate the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" with a viewing of the 1931 film adaptation. A discussion on the impact and evolution of the novel will introduce the film, led by English, Music and Medical Humanities faculty.
John Peace Library North Commons, 2nd Floor
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