A novel device developed by scientists fits on the head like a halo and quickly busts clots that cause stroke.
According to researchers at University of Arkansas, The ClotBust ER, which is developed by William Culp and Doug Wilson, could soon be available to treat stroke more effectively.
The device has 16 transducers scattered around the inside - designed to line up with the thin points in the skull: the temples and the foramen magnum in the base of the skull, which allows the ultrasound waves to move through the brain without interruption. After the patient is administered an IV containing t-PA, the circular device is placed onto the patient's head like a sports visor or halo.
Culp said that the idea is to deliver ultrasound wherever the clot is and where the IV t-PA is working, and it makes t-PA work better - improving the clot-busting drug by 40 or 50 percent. It's like taking a cooking pot and stirring it. The ultrasound stirs the drug around, making it work better.
Now in a Phase Three human trial, the ClotBust ER has been tested in more than 300 patients. None of the results have come back with significant adverse effects. Since the trial periods began, 66 other university sites have signed up to be included in the testing. The device will also soon be available at some sites of the statewide stroke network called AR SAVES while it is in trial.