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World's Smallest Pacemaker Connects Directly to the Heart

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 27 Apr 2015
Print article
The Micra TPS alongside a conventional pacemaker
The Micra TPS alongside a conventional pacemaker (Photo courtesy of Medtronic)
A miniaturized pacemaker provides advanced pacing technology while being small enough to be delivered and implanted directly into the heart.

The Micra Transcatheter Pacing System (TPS), less than one tenth the size of a conventional pacemaker, does not require the use of leads to deliver pacing therapy; rather, it is attached to the heart via small nitinol wires (tines), which grip the heart, holding the device and the electrodes in place. The Micra TPS is delivered via minimally invasive techniques, and can be repeatedly repositioned in the ventricle to make sure heart activity and low electrical thresholds are optimal. Once positioned, the device responds to patients' activity levels by automatically adjusting therapy.

Unlike traditional pacemakers, the Micra TPS does not require a surgical pocket under the skin, so that potential sources of complications are eliminated, as are any visible signs of the device. And despite its miniaturized size, the miniature pacemaker has an estimated 10-year battery life, and has also been approved for full body magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. The Micra TPS is a product of Medtronic (Dublin, Ireland), and has received the European Community CE marking of approval.

“Our cross-functional teams have been working for years to redefine engineering limits and production capabilities by radically reducing the size of medical devices by more than 90%, while continuing to innovate upon the existing technology,” said Brian Urke, vice president and general manager of the cardiac rhythm and heart failure Brady business, part of the cardiac and vascular group at Medtronic. “We believe our investment in this research is transforming cardiac care and will provide more and better therapy options to patients.”

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