Ureteroscopy, Reimagined: Shortening Operating Times with a Deployable Mesh Device
Open and closed models of the device at 10x scale
Current kidney stone removal procedures are plagued by time inefficiencies. With increasing kidney stone prevalence and urologist shortages, there is a need to streamline these procedures and increase patient throughput. Ureteroscopy (URS) is the gold standard for surgical stone management. The procedure involves a ureteroscope to reach the anatomy, a laser to break stones, a basket to retrieve stones, and irrigation for visibility. While this irrigation is necessary, it can be high pressured and not easily controlled, frequently causing stones to chaotically ricochet throughout the kidney. For urologists, this presents a constant dilemma of maintaining visibility and minimizing stone mobility. Our solution bridges this gap by trapping stones in a confined area during the stone destruction process while allowing irrigation to flow for maximum visibility. It consists of a deployable mesh under a biocompatible sleeve that fits over the body of the ureteroscope. When the surgeon is ready to laser the stones, they would deploy the mesh, which would remain open until lasering is completed. During this process, irrigation would filter passable stone dust, and sizable stones would stay in place for removal, therefore reducing the retrieval process time. Our device has tremendous market opportunity within the ureteroscopy market currently valued at $5.53 billion globally and $1.81 billion in the United States. The final value of our device will be threefold. For surgeons, the procedure will become less tedious and time-consuming without major changes to the surgical workflow. For medical institutions, shorter operating times will increase patient throughput, potentially allowing surgeons to perform more procedures per day. For patients, our solution could bridge the gap between increasing kidney stone prevalence and urologist shortages, therefore improving the overall treatment experience.
Primary Engineer, R&D Innovation & Biodesign, BD Urology and Critical Care