The development of minimally invasive septal occluders

In the mid-seventies, Dr. Terry D. King and Dr. Noel I. Mills applied for a patent to protect their remarkable invention that allowed physicians to treat septum defects such as ASD or PFO without using open-heart surgery for the first time.

Dr. King and Dr. Mills combined most of the features that are still state-of-the-art today in modern occlusion devices: low profile, foldability and a minimally invasive approach both for the implant and procedure and Dr. King was the first physician to perform such a procedure.

Dr. King’s and Dr. Mills’ revolutionary invention inspired the inventive genius of several technicians and physicians, all driven by a strong desire to improve therapy. As a result, a number of new technologies and devices were launched over the following decades. One of the most successful was the Amplatzer range of occluders, innovative in the way they were manufactured from a braided tube and clamped at the opposite ends of the device.

In 2003, Occlutech’s engineers were asked by Prof. Hans Figulla, www.figulla.org, at Jena University Hospital, Germany, to develop a new generation of occluders to reduce the amount of material implanted and increase flexibility and adaptability when closing septum defects, both under routine conditions but also under the most demanding circumstances. The result, launched in early 2007, and further improved at the middle of 2007, was the Occlutech Figulla ranges of PFO and ASD occluders.

Through a groundbreaking braiding technology and clamp-free shaping, another milestone in the development of septal occluders was achieved.