Inventures: Sacramento man creates small device to defeat strokes

12:48 AM, May 24, 2013   |    comments
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SACRAMENTO, CA - A Sacramento man and his brother are waging a war on strokes by inventing the world's smallest device to remove dangerous blood clots.

"This is why I am here," Vikram Janardhan explained.

Janardhan lost three grandparents to strokes, which is one of the leading causes of death in the United States.

By inventing SHELTER, a tiny umbrella shaped device, Janardhan hopes to save lives.

SHELTER goes on the north end of the clot while the blue catheter goes on the south end of a blood clot. The two work to entrap the clot on both ends and remove it from the brain.

So far, it's the world's smallest device for blood clot removal.

"The smaller the device, it can reach the far corners of the brain," Janardhan said.

Janardhan and his brother co-founded Insera Therapeutics in 2008. He's an engineer and his brother Vallabh is a neurologist in Texas.

"We got rejected by hundreds of venture capitalists," Janardhan said.

But then they eventually got grants from two federal agencies.

To safely test SHELTER, they created a special model of the brain. Though it's still in research and development stage, SHELTER has won numerous innovation awards.

It's currently in clinical trials in Asia.

"We took the device to use on a 76-year-old patient that had a clot that affected his ability to lift his left arm," Janardhan recalled. "As we were pulling the clot out in the neck, he started to move his left arm."

It was a moment Janardhan will never forget.

"He held our hand as a way of saying thank you," Janardhan said. "And at that moment, there was a voice within that said, 'Congratulations, you have just served society.'"

About a year from now, Janardhan hopes to launch SHELTER in Europe and then the U.S. He believes the world's smallest device will have a huge impact.

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