In 1957, University of Minnesota alumnus and Medtronic co-founder Earl Bakken sparked a revolution in medicine when he invented the world’s first wearable cardiac pacemaker. That invention changed the face of medicine and foretold the rise of a booming medical device industry.
Today, Robert Patterson, emeritus professor of medicine, is improving on the pacemaker, which is now the size of two silver dollars. Patterson invented an implantable component that continuously monitors the heart for signs of early pulmonary edema and atrial fibrillation.
The monitor would give early warning of cardiac problems and enable patients to seek medical attention prior to a life-threatening event. The patented design requires minimal hardware and software changes to current implantable devices, potentially saving costs as well as saving lives.
Implantable medical device with inter-atrial block monitoring
Inventors: Robert Patterson, Andrew Belalcazar
The road from research to commercialization can be a long one, and obtaining a patent on intellectual property is a key milestone along the way. Congrats to Patterson and other U of M faculty, students and colleagues who were issued patents this quarter (see partial list below).
Growth of low dislocation density Group-III nitrides and related thin-film structures
Inventors: Philip Cohen, Bentao Cui
IRF-5 haplotypes in systemic lupus erythematosus
Inventors: Timothy Behrens, Robert Graham, David Altshuler
Crowd counting and monitoring
Inventors: Prahlad Kilambi, Osama Masoud, Nikolaos Papanikolopoulos
Open-ended control circuit for electrical apparatus
Inventors: Ned Mohan, Krushna Mohapatra
Spatial-temporal multi-resolution image sensor with adaptive frame rates for tracking movement in a region of interest
Inventors: Jaehyuk Choi, Euisik Yoon
Error detection and correction using error pattern correcting codes
Inventors: Jaekyun Moon, Jihoon Park