The development of minimally invasive septal occluders

In the mid-seventies, Dr. Terry D. King and Dr. Noel I. Mills applied for a patent to protect their remarkable invention that allowed physicians to treat septum defects such as ASD or PFO without using open-heart surgery for the first time.

Dr. King and Dr. Mills combined features that are still state-of-the-art in modern occlusion devices today; low profile, foldability, and a minimally invasive approach for the implant and procedure. Dr. King is known as the first physician to perform such a procedure. 

The two doctors’ revolutionary invention served as an inspiration to technicians and physicians, all driven by a desire to improve the therapy field. As a result, a number of new technologies and devices were launched the following decades. One of the most successful was the Amplatzer range of occluders, manufactured from a braided tube and clamped at the opposite ends of the device. 

In 2003, Occlutech’s engineers were asked by Prof. Hans Figulla at Jena University Hospital, Germany, to develop a new generation of occluders with the aim to reduce the amount of material implanted, and increase flexibility and adaptability when closing septum defects. The result; the Occlutech Figulla ranges of PFO and ASD occluders was launched in early 2007, and through groundbreaking braiding technology, and clamp-free shaping, another milestone in the development of septal occluders was achieved.