In 2020, medical technology partner Minnetronix Medical received FDA clearance for its first platform product, the MindsEye Expandable Port for neurosurgical procedures. The minimally invasive, expandable port designed for use in the treatment of stroke, cancer, and other conditions creates a custom-sized channel allowing surgeons to target areas deep within the brain. Such visibility and access could help facilitate interventions that reduce secondary injury and help patients heal, and its novel dynamic retraction feature is designed to cause less damage to brain tissue surrounding the surgeon’s working channel, the company shared in a statement to MD+DI.
“MindsEye is a big step forward in the field of minimally invasive neurosurgery. In its collapsed state MindsEye represents a very small profile to introduce into the brain, and when combined with its expandable retraction, we’ve put the ultimate level of control in the hands of the surgeon allowing him/her to dial up as little or as much access needed to safely remove a deep brain lesion,” said Matt Adams, GM for Minnetronix’s Neuro, Optics, and Fluids businesses.
MindsEye features a novel translucent and flexible sheath that provides unobstructed visibility across and through the working channel. The sheath helps a surgeon better isolate the target, visualize and manage any bleeding they may encounter, and safely remove deep brain lesions that may not have been accessible using traditional methods. Additionally it supports use of an endoscope, exoscope, or microscope along with a number of minimally invasive surgical instruments.
This combination of features spanning integration with modern surgical navigation to compatibility with multiple intraopterative visualization systems and a plethora of surgical tools fits seamlessly into a surgeon’s workflow allowing them to reach lesions deep in the brain without restricting the use of favored instruments or surgical approach, Minnetronix reported.
In addition, the product represents some pretty advanced engineering starting with material selection, product design, and a proprietary manufacturing process developed by Minnetronix engineers. The team needed to find a transparent, biocompatible sheath material with the ability to stretch up to 600%, as the port expands up to 20 mm in diameter. It also had to be non-reflective, because of the use of intense lighting during surgery, and able to withstand sharp instruments, the company shared. (See above photo.)
“The materials used in the sheath are difficult to injection mold and assemble,” said Don Evans, chief engineer behind the product design. “So the team created a novel process to manufacture and assemble the product. We’re quite excited about this innovation as the process will allow us to create thin wall, tough, and highly elastic sheaths that when combined with the expanding rib design allow us to create different configurations in Neuro and markets beyond. The platform possibilities are really exciting. In addition, it showcases what our engineers are capable of when faced with challenging problems.”