I just got off the phone with Larry Hooper. I called mainly to get the patent number which are below but we talked about quite a few other things. One thing I would suggest is if you have any questions you want answered you should probably just call them, I'm not completely sure but that email address on the website might not be working or going to anyone who will actually respond.
United States Patent 5,891,012
Downey, et al. April 6, 1999
Coronary artery counter-pulsation device and method
Abstract – A device and method are shown for improving coronary blood circulation and cardiac contractile function, synchronizing coronary perfusion pressure with the patient's cardiac cycle, by alternately pressurizing and depressurizing an inflatable balloon located within the interior of the device. The device comprises a catheter having a distal end which is installed at the ostium of the coronary artery of a patient. The device is alternately pressurized during the relaxation phase of a patient's cardiac cycle and then depressurized during the contraction phase of the cardiac cycle to thereby modulate the coronary perfusion pressure and blood flow.
United States Patent 6,149,578
Downey, et al. November 21, 2000
Piston-action intra-aortic coronary assist device
Abstract – An intra-aortic balloon assist device is used to increase blood flow to the coronary arteries of an injured heart. The device comprises an expandable member that is placed within the ascending aorta of the patient, coupled to a flexible tube made of standard catheter material. The flexible tube is coupled to a blood flow control means within the descending portion of the patient's aorta. When operating, the blood flow control means pumps a surge of oxygenated blood through the flexible tube and expandable member into the area around the ascending portion of the aorta. The expandable member is operated in successive stages. The first stage is a collapsed stage, which is a completely depressurized stage of the member. In the second, blocking stage, the member blocks off the aorta to create a closed volume around the ascending portion of the aorta. In the third, blocking-pumping stage, the member expands in the direction of the coronary arteries simultaneous to the surge of blood supplied by the blood flow control means to force oxygenated blood within the closed volume--blood supplied by the blood flow control means and blood already within the closed volume--towards the coronary ostiums.
United States Patent 6,190,304
Downey, et al. February 20, 2001
Enhanced intra-aortic balloon assist device
Abstract – The present invention is an intra-aortic circulatory enhancing apparatus for use in human patients to improve blood flow to other arteries continuous with the aorta of the patient. The apparatus comprises an internal inflation means located within the aorta of the patient and an external inflation means located outside of the patient. The internal inflation means can be an internal balloon coupled to a hollow extent which is operatively coupled to a blood communication means. The blood communication means can be a first hollow catheter tube in one embodiment. The external inflation means can be an external balloon coupled to a hollow extent running through the center of the balloon and continuous with a second hollow catheter tube. The blood communication means is coupled to the internal and external inflation means, allowing blood within the aorta to communicate with the secondary inflation means.
United States Patent 6,228,018
Downey, et al. May 8, 2001
Removable left ventricular assist device with an aortic support apparatus
Abstract - An apparatus and method of temporarily replacing the function of the left ventricle in a patient whose heart is severely injured and is unable to maintain a systemic arterial pressure adequate to support the inside walls of patient's aorta, the method comprising a removable pressurizable support means having an external profile which is expandable to fit firmly against the inside wall of the aorta of a patient, wherein the external profile of the pressurizable support means presents a central opening that allows blood to flow through the aorta. The pressurizable support means can both support and expand the aorta under low blood pressure to assist the drawing of blood from the left ventricle. The central opening also allows for the placement of a blood flow control means. The blood flow control means can comprise a pumping balloon and a proximal blocking balloon, the two members pressurized and depressurized in opposition within the aorta of a patient to simulate systole and diastole of a healthy heart. The pumping balloon has a pressurized pumping position that is engaged while the proximal blocking balloon is in a depressurized deflated position.