-  JANUARY 2015  -

Mercader's Research Presented at 20th Annual International Atrial Fibrillation Symposium in Orlando, FL.


Over the past 20 years, the annual international symposium on atrial fibrillation (AF) has become a major scientific forum at which health-care professionals have a unique opportunity to learn about advances in research and therapeutics directly from many of the most eminent investigators in the field. Advances have been made over the past decade to treat AF through a procedure called ablation. Cardiac ablation involves a long, flexible catheter tube inserted through the vein and threaded to the heart to map out and ablate or "knock out" the source of the arrhythmia.  Dr. Mercader's team has developed a unique imaging system that allows for more precisely identifying and destroying the heart tissue that causes AF, raising the potential for much greater treatment success and long-term outcomes.  Dr. Mercader's team presented research on the new catheter: "Real-Time Dual Monitoring of Catheter-Tissue Contact and RF Lesion Progression Using NADH Fluorescence," at the symposium. 


Dr. Mercader, first named inventor of the technology, has recently received acceptance by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the base patent called "Systems and methods for visualizing ablated tissue."  This research was initiated by seed funding from the George Washington University / Medical Faculty Associates Collaborative Research Grant and the GW Heart & Vascular Institute's Young Investigator Research Award. The work is a collaborative project between the Division of Cardiology, the Department of Pharmacology & Physiology and the School of Engineering at GW.  




Institute Welcomes New Chairman of GW Bioengineering at Cardiology Grand Rounds

The GW Heart & Vascular Institute welcomed Igor Efimov, PhD, chairman of the newly established Department of Biomedical Engineering in the George Washington University School of Engineering and Applied Science this January at GW Cardiology Grand Rounds. Dr. Efimov, a leader in cardiovascular disease research, presented his internationally acclaimed work on the mechanisms for human heart rhythm disorders in diseased heart muscles. Dr. Efimov is advancing new therapies for treating patients with abnormal heart rhythms-such as an implantable, custom-fit device that wraps around a patient's heart and detects impending cardiac arrest. Sensors on the device send signals to a smartphone, which give doctors real-time data on the heart's functions. This program coincided with the grand opening of the GW Science and Engineering Hall, a new state-of-the-art facility bringing under one roof researchers across disciplines of engineering, computer science, chemistry, biology, and physics. The Hall is located adjacent to the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences and GW Hospital. Dr. Efimov and his team will be collaborating with the GW Heart & Vascular Institute faculty starting this spring.