New patent and utility model from scientists from FNUSA-ICRC
The Czech patent and utility model (ie protection provided by technical solutions that are new, go beyond mere professional skills and that are industrially applicable) are the latest results of the work of scientists from the International Clinical Research Center of St. Anne's University Hospital Brno (FNUSA-ICRC). The new solutions will help patients with cardiac arrhythmias and the earlier diagnosis of several types of oncological diseases.
Scientists from the Interventional Cardiac Electrophysiology Research team led by MUDr. Zdenek Starek, Ph.D. contributed greatly to the invention of the AC electroporation generator. For the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias, ie ablation (literally isolation) of abnormal cardiac tissue, thermal radiofrequency energy is currently used as standard, but there is a risk of damage to surrounding structures, such as the esophagus. A suitable alternative for overcoming the above-mentioned limits is non-thermal ablation methods, which can avoid complications typical of standard ablation therapies. So far, however, there has been no solution that does not involve general anesthesia or the risk of muscle contractions.
The electroporation generator is a non-thermal energy source that is the first alternative to current thermal technology to ablate heart tissue. "This source of energy is much better than current technology in terms of safety and maintaining a normal heart rhythm. The alternating electroporation generator was prepared as the first and so far the only electroporation generator prepared directly for interventional electrophysiology ", said MUDr. Starek.
The Czech patent is registered together with the Brno University of Technology. A European patent is also currently pending.
This year, a utility model entitled „Screening diagnostic kit for detecting histones in extracellular histone complexes“ was also registered.
Histones are one of the basic building blocks of the chromatin (a complex of DNA and some proteins). Histones are basic, water-soluble proteins on which a free strand of DNA is wound to form nucleosomes. The fiber with the nucleosomes twists like a telephone cable into loops, which are attached here and there to a protein scaffold and together form a chromosome.
Histones are found in the nucleus of cells and are released into the blood after their death. Elevated levels of histones either alone or within intact nucleosomes in the bloodstream are one of the biomarkers in the prognosis and diagnosis of several types of cancer, stroke or sepsis. "This utility model focuses on histones, their detection, quantification and visualization," said Manlio Vinciguerra Ph.D. MSc, Principal Investigator of Epigenetics, Metabolism and Aging research team. The parts of chromatin found outside the cell are promising "liquid biopsies", the main non-invasive tool for personalized medicine. However, their use is also facing difficulties, including in particular the need for unambiguous genetic identification of the tissues from which these parts originate. This is easy for - in order to differentiatinge, for example, mother and fetus or healthy and tumor cells. It is more complicate when histones and DNA can not be differentiated between “self“ and „other", but are genetically identical. Some cardiometabolic diseases are also associated with an increase in the incidence of chromatin fragments in blood, but they have not been monitored yet," Vinciguerra said. This method could be to change the current methodology of liquid biopsy analysis. "Currently, the approach is, say, DNA-centric, we would like to change it and focus on the specific histones contained in chromatin," Vinciguerra added. The principle is based on an innovative imaging method utilizing a multispectral imaging flow cytometer. "As far as we know, this histone screening application is not currently used, which we would like to change," Vinciguerra concluded.
The utility model is registered together with the Global Change Research Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences in Brno.