News: May 2014

Top 20 Technologies: From more than 300 applications – Profiles for three of Partners HealthCare's most promising commercial opportunities

Low Field Magnetic Stimulation, Early Urine Biomarkers of Kidney Inflammation, and Portable Magnetic Resonance Lung Density Monitor (MR-LDM) for ICU.

Focus on Innovation Development Grant Awards Low Field Magnetic Stimulation Michael Rohan, PhD McLean Hospital, Imaging Center Low Field Magnetic Stimulation is a potential new treatment for depression, and has been observed to produce immediate improvement in mood in a recent study. It uses small, high frequency electromagnetic fields to affect cortical regions in the brain in a beneficial way. The LFMS Device was developed and designed at Mclean Hospital and is currently being used in multiple treatment studies. The recent award by Partners HealthCare will be used to develop the next generation of devices that will allow optimization of the treatment protocol. Focus on Innovation Development Grant Awards Early Urine Biomarkers of Kidney Inflammation Sylvie Breton, PhD MGH, Nephrology/Center for Systems Biology While kidney failure is almost always associated with uncontrolled inflammation, no early markers of renal inflammation are currently available. The incidence of acute kidney injury (AKI) is increasing and it is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in hospitalized patients. AKI occurs in two thirds of intensive care unit patients, 40% of patients after cardiac surgery, and 23% of all hospitalized patients. Injured cells leak UDP-glucose, a damage-associated molecular pattern molecule (DAMP) that signals through the purinergic receptor P2Y14 to initiate the release of pro-inflammatory chemokines (PICs). We found that P2Y14 is specifically and highly expressed in kidney intercalated cells (ICs), and that it mediates inflammation via neutrophil recruitment. This study, therefore, identifies ICs as novel sensors, mediators and effectors of inflammation in the kidney via P2Y14. This Partners IDG-funded research will explore the novel pro-inflammatory function of ICs. Focus on Innovation Development Grant Awards Portable Magnetic Resonance Lung Density Monitor (MR-LDM) for ICU Samuel Patz, PhD BWH, Radiology A portable magnetic resonance device, called a Magnetic Resonance Lung Density Monitor (MR-LDM), is being developed for use at the bedside of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) patients. ARDS patients have a very high mortality rate of 20-40% due in part to ventilator induced lung injury (VILI). The MR-LDM is designed to monitor the average density of selected regions of the lung allowing clinicians to diagnose collapsed, healthy or over-distended sections of the lung and thereby assess the efficacy of ventilator support as well as patient response to therapy. The MR-LDM produces a region of field homogeneity remote from its surface such that when the magnet surface is placed on a patient's chest, it measures a signal from inside the lung. To make the device lightweight and portable, a very low magnetic field, produced with permanent magnets, is used.