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Image: Tom Lawrie-Fussey, Fred Harrison, Vincenzo Tilotta, Jeremy Kooyman, Dan Haworth, Matt Brady, Lucy Sheldon, Josh Shenker, Matt Schumann and Carl Pullen 

This month we have a special ‘Meet the Team’ blog. With Tom Lawrie-Fussey and Dan Haworth poised to attend the European Society of Cardiology Congress (ESC) in Rome next week, we are showcasing our team of cardiology device experts to highlight their breadth of skills and experience.

Vincenzo Tilotta, Senior Quality Engineer

“Over the years I’ve worked on many different catheters and transcatheter devices; and continue to do so in several interesting projects at CDP.  I’ve worked in R&D in early renal denervation research using cryoablation and RF technologies, including the Medtronic Symplicity devices, as well as endografts, coronary catheters, aspiration catheters, ablation devices and drug filled and covered stents.  I am deeply interested in creating innovative solutions to treat today’s most pressing clinical needs. A good example is the CoreValve transcatheter TAVI that I worked on at a time when the idea of delivering valves percutaneously was completely new. The advantages of this versus valve replacement via traditional open surgery are significant, and the technology is now clinically well established.”

Jeremy Kooyman, Biomedical Engineer

“I’ve spent a lot of time in operating theatres designing tools for minimally invasive surgery. Particularly as devices start to get smaller, I’m observing that more engineering focus is focused onto the end-effector rather than looking at the entire relationship between the tool, surgeon, and their environment. Using a more holistic approach to designing devices will be critical to ensuring safety and efficacy as interventions become more complex. A new device is only as good as the surgeon using it, so with the advent of enabling technologies like image fusion, real-time image/signal processing and robotics it’s important that we design with the ever-changing capabilities of the user in mind.”

Dan Haworth, Senior Device Engineer

“I have many years of experience developing high-tech products for the life science industry. I contributed to the development of innovative super-elastic stents with increased structural flexibility combined with ease of deployment into peripheral vessels. I also worked closely with world-leading surgeons to develop a minimally invasive mitral valve repair device. These are both examples of an expansion in percutaneous procedures – in concert with advances in interventional radiology.”

Lucy Sheldon, Designer and Human Factors Specialist

“Whilst I'm excited by the wealth of innovation in cardiology I see clear opportunities to optimising these new technologies so they can be deployed effectively with a minimal learning curve.  As a Human Factors specialist I believe there are many simple steps we can take to enhance the amazing capabilities of cardiologists through better interaction design and improved workflow – so unlocking the full potential of innovation to deliver better outcomes, with reduced risk, at lower cost.  By applying observational, problem-focused interviewing methodologies we can better understand cardiologists’ key challenges, to drive tomorrow's innovation.”

Josh Shenker, Design Engineer

“My interest is in transcutaneous cryoablation devices.  In one project our client’s cryosurgery system needed to be adapted to a completely new indication and key requirements for the new probe included diameter reduction, a reduced cryo zone and enhanced performance. I led the experimental work, and by a combination of startlingly accurate math modelling and rapid design-prototype-test cycles, we developed a new probe which achieved the new requirements, reducing diameter by half and doubling the benchmark competitor’s performance – but also slashing complexity, manufacturing cost and operating pressure.”

Matt Schumann, Engineer and Partner

“By 2006 drug eluting stents were established and people were looking for the next innovation in angioplasty. One key limitation was chronic total occlusion, which effectively prevented percutaneous access to the lesion. To enable development of tools to cross such arterial blockages, I obtained grant funding and developed synthetic models of coronary arteries at varying levels of disease. This required measurements of cadavers and animal analogues, which informed a custom polymer development programme.”

Carl Pullen, Senior Quality Engineer

“During my time at Ventracor my team developed the Ventracor Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) - an implantable mechanical pump to support the heart's pumping function.  I was responsible for safety-critical aspects of this design through to first-in-man trials, during which we supported ventricular function in 20 users.  Since then my focus has been in developing high volume medical devices and creating the associated design files for a range of device submissions during my time at Vectura, GSK and Novartis, in parallel with developing ISO 13485 Quality Systems.”

Fred Harrison, Design Engineer

“I recently worked closely with King’s College London on the AF catheter platform that featured recently on our web site. In this field I particularly enjoy the challenges of achieving highly accurate and repeatable control, designing the intuitive user experience essential in a busy operating room, and using novel design and manufacturing tools to fit all the required therapeutic delivery systems into these increasingly tiny devices.  Into the future, I am excited by technologies that will improve the speed and accuracy of therapy delivery – preserving more healthy tissue and improving outcomes.”

Matt Brady, Senior Engineer and Medical Devices Leader

“I recently led our work for KCL, but my cardiology interest spans more than a decade, starting at Cordis where I joined their team to help accelerate the development and testing of the next-gen Cypher drug eluting stent platform.  Later I led the development of a coronary artery imaging catheter for BMS Medical Imaging (now Lantheus), with a strong international dimension: the handle had to be intuitive in use, include multiple safety lockouts, and interface with the pullback and console being developed in the USA.  I led the development of the handle connector and blood collection module for PlaqueTec’s Liquid Biopsy System – overcoming complexities to ensure a safe, streamlined user experience with full assurance of sample integrity.”

Tom-Lawrie-Fussey, Senior Engineer and Connected Devices Leader

“I am a mechanical engineer, with over 15 years’ experience of modelling complex mechanical systems.  More recently I have become increasingly involved in new business development across the consumer and medical device markets, with an emphasis on enabling new and disruptive products which embrace smart/connected technology.

Please feel free to get in touch with Tom and Dan to arrange a meeting at ESC (European Society of Cardiology) congress in Rome next week. 

Thanks to all of the above authors and Mike Worth.

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