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Mechanotransduction Device Treats Small Bowel Syndrome

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 05 Jan 2022
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Image: The Eclipse XL1 placed inside the shortened small bowel (Photo courtesy of Eclipse Regenesis)
Image: The Eclipse XL1 placed inside the shortened small bowel (Photo courtesy of Eclipse Regenesis)
A prototype spring-like device applies controlled force to expand healthy tissue in patients suffering from short bowel syndrome (SBS).

The Eclipse Regenesis (Menlo Park, CA, USA) XL1 is a small, compressed coil that is placed inside the small intestine, secured at both ends with plication sutures. The natural expansion and contraction of the intestine work against the resistance of the device, leading to a mechanical transduction that stretches the bowel. Over a two to three week period, the compressed coil device slowly expands to its relaxed state, stimulating new tissue growth in the treated segment, and ultimately expanding it to two to three times the segment’s original length (about four cm).

Once the process is complete, the chromic sutures dissolve, allowing the XL1 to pass through the body to be excreted. Treatment length varies, depending on the starting point (amount of small intestine), the end point (how much new intestine is needed) needed to reduce total parenteral nutrition dependence. Preclinical studies show successful lengthening of the bowel, no perforations, and no obstructions. The newly formed tissue looks and acts like normal intestinal tissue with regard to metabolic uptake and contractile function.

“The basic concept is similar to distraction osteogenesis, which orthopedic surgeons have used for years, applying distraction force to broken bone that will grow up to a millimeter a day,” said Andre Bessette, CEO and a co-founder of Eclipse Regenesis. “Patients with SBS have lost more than 50% of their small intestine, so they’ll need more than one device applied or more than one procedure. We are getting close to performing the first-in-human procedure, and we hope to eventually be able to perform this procedure completely endoscopically.”

SBS is a devastating condition where patients struggle to absorb life-sustaining nutrients from their diet. It typically results from intestinal resection due to necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), which takes place when the lining of the intestinal wall becomes infected and dies. It can also result from birth defects, such as Gastroschisis, Volvulus, Hirschsprung’s Disease, Intestinal Atresia, and other congenital defects. Patients struggle to absorb life-sustaining nutrients from their diet, and many become reliant on total parenteral nutrition (TPN) to survive.

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