CO-ME: Surgical aid for heart bypass interventions
The aim of the CO-ME (COmputer aided and image guided MEdical interventions) project was to develop a surgical aid for heart bypass operations.
Arteriosclerosis is a pathological transformation of the arteries, inducing a chronic narrowing of the blood vessels (stenosis). When this narrowing affects the coronary vessels, an undersupply of the heart muscles happens (heart attack). Once a certain degree of sclerosis has been reached, the supply can be restored only through a bypass operation.
Placing a natural bypass requires a massive surgical intervention. New, innovative strategies aim at minimizing the impact of such interventions by using minimally invasive surgery. During the CO-ME project, in cooperation with Zurich University Hospital, the IMS developed an anastomosis device (device for the connection of two vessels) that simplifies the sewing process. Instead of manual sewing, a helix needle with impressed filament is led through the tissue in order to tighten the bypass to the coronary artery in a gentle way.