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DARPA signs up Siemens to develop Deep Bleeder Acoustic Coagulation cuff

Siemens Healthcare USA : 30 September, 2008  (Company News)
Following a competitive initial development process, Siemens has entered into an exclusive government contract with the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop a prototype Deep Bleeder Acoustic Coagulation cuff (DBAC), which is a life-saving ultrasound device limiting blood loss and shock resulting from combat limb injuries.
Partners at the University of Washington's Center for Industrial and Medical Ultrasound (UW), the Texas A and M University's Institute for Preclinical Studies (TIPS) and Siemens Corporate Research (SCR) will work together with Siemens Healthcare to achieve DARPA's goal of producing a prototype in 18 months.

'We are very pleased that DARPA has recognized the expertise of the Siemens team to deliver on this ambitious vision,' noted Dr Frank Sauer, Department Head of Imaging and Visualization at SCR. 'The development of this groundbreaking Ultrasound technology will allow military personnel to begin treating blood loss injuries right at the front lines, potentially saving lives.'

The cuff is designed to limit blood loss from penetrating wounds to limbs in fast and slow bleeders, significantly reducing the risk of limb loss and death resulting from irreversible haemorrhagic shock. Once applied to the limb, Siemens Silicon Ultrasound technology within the cuff automatically detects the location and severity of the bleeding within the limb. The cuff triggers therapeutic Ultrasound elements within the cuff to emit and focus high-power energy toward the bleeding sites, speeding coagulation and halting bleeding at the injury site. The device is intended for use by minimally-trained operators, curtailing bleeding in a minimal amount of time with automatic treatment and power shut-off.

'We are very excited to leverage advanced technologies of Siemens Ultrasound such as real-time volumetric imaging and Silicon transducers to realise DARPA's vision for saving lives on the battlefield,' said Richard Chiao, vice president of Siemens Healthcare's Ultrasound Innovation Group. 'We believe technologies developed for this new therapeutic application of Ultrasound will also benefit civilian care in the future.'

Aside from its use of advanced medical technologies, the cuff's use in the field requires a compact, lightweight design with highly integrated electronics. Built with versatility in mind, the cuff is capable of accommodating a variety of limbs ranging from the wide male thigh to the slender female arm.

'We are eager to participate in this exciting programme', noted Lawrence A Crum, research professor and principal investigator of the University of Washington effort. 'This unique technology offers a real opportunity to address a major problem in battlefield trauma.'

'The challenge of applying our extensive animal modeling expertise to develop this potentially life-saving technology is exciting', noted Matthew W Miller, DVM, professor of cardiology and associate director for research at TIPS. 'The opportunity to work closely with talented colleagues at SCR and UW will ensure that the likelihood of success is maximised.'

The team will be working in collaboration with future users of the technology to maximise its potential, including the Combat Casualty Care Group at the US Army Medical Research and Material Command, surgeons from the Madigan Army Medical Center, and the US Army Institute for Surgical Research.
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