New invention to fight strokes

Dr Gillian Pearce is one of the inventors of a blood clot removal device which could improve the survival rates of people who have suffered a stroke.

There are 130,000 strokes per year in the UK alone, and millions worldwide. The mainstay of treatment in the last three to four years has been to dissolve the clot using a drug called tPA (alteplase). But the drug is only licensed for use within three hours after the stroke has occurred and it cannot be given to everyone.

An alternative to breaking down the clot is to remove it by mechanical extraction devices. Dr Pearce and her colleague Reverend Neil Perkinson have invented the GP Mechanical Thrombectomy Device (MTD) to undertake such clot removal.

Apparatus that mimics the human circulatory system has been used to test the GP MTD.

Dr Pearce, Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences, said: “The statistical data collected using repeated tests has shown that this novel device is highly effective in blood clot extraction. Larger versions of this device may be used to remove blood clots in the heart and in the peripheral vascular system, for example for clots in the legs.”

This initial testing was undertaken by a medical student working with Dr Pearce. Further independent testing of the device will now take place.

The device can be used for thromboembolic strokes, which are caused by the interruption of blood flow to a part of the brain due to the formation of a blood clot in an artery.

Further information

For more information, please contact Vickie Woodward in the Media Relations Office on 01902 322736.


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