Design of a cooling guide catheter for rapid heart cooling

Thomas L. Merrill, Denise R. Merrill, Todd J. Nilsen, Jennifer E. Akers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Despite decades of care path improvements approximately 30% of heart attack victims die within 1 year after their first heart attack. Animal testing has shown that mild hypothermia, reducing tissue temperatures by 2-4°C, has the potential to save heart tissue that is not adequately perfused with blood. This paper describes the design of a cooling guide catheter that can provide rapid, local cooling to heart tissue during emergency angioplasty. Using standard materials and dimensions found in typical angioplasty guide catheters, a closed-loop cooling guide catheter was developed. Thermal fluid modeling guided the interior geometric design. After careful fabrication and leak testing, a mock circulatory system was used to measure catheter cooling capacity. At blood analog flow rates ranging from 20 ml/min to 70 ml/min, the corresponding cooling capacity varied almost linearly from 20 W to 45 W. Animal testing showed 18 W of cooling delivered by the catheter can reduce heart tissue temperatures rapidly, approximately 3° in 5 min in some locations. Future animal testing work is needed to investigate if this cooling effect can save heart tissue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number035001
JournalJournal of Medical Devices, Transactions of the ASME
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomedical Engineering

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