News & Events

CUNY’s Technology Commercialization Office Licenses vein illumination patent

January 22, 2014

Neeti Mitra, the newest member of the team

Neeti Mitra, the newest member of the team

Correctly inserting a needle in a vein appears straightforward. However, it can be time consuming (taking up to three tries to correctly insert a needle into a child’s vein), and causes patients and their doctors distress, or worse. It is of vital importance in radiology and oncology, where there is always the fear of Infiltration and Extravasation. Leakage of the radiology dye or chemotherapy medicine from the vein into the soft tissue surrounding the needle is a serious complication. It is particularly difficult to locate veins in the obese, the very young and aged, and in patients with very dark skin.

The CUNY Technology Commercialization Office recently licensed a US patent that addresses this difficulty.  US patent 5, 929,443, “Imaging of objects based upon the polarization or depolarization of light” has been licensed to Near Infrared Imaging, a medical device company based in Boston. Dr. Robert Alfano, of City College, and his Ph.D. student, Stavros Demos, invented the vein illumination technique in 1996. This invention allows doctors to image objects objects located in, at the surface of, or behind turbid media.

Near Infrared’s vein illumination product will be called AVV-1. It illuminates a patient’s veins so that a needle stick is safe and painless.  The images are so clear and detailed that a missed needle stick is very unlikely.

The cost of the AVV-1 will be 50% less than the competitors, offering a greater chance for worldwide adoption and acceptance.  The CUNY technology allows for the use of polarization and de-polarization of the optics, avoiding the use of less effective and more expensive projection technology. The AVV-1 allows for total hands-free operation and illuminates the entire path of veins, providing a runway for IV placement.  This technology uses LEDs, not lasers, as lasers can be dangerous if the light makes direct contact with the human eye.  The camera is able to illuminate veins through hair and dark skin and in patients where the competitors have failed.

The device was recently showcased to phlebotomists, nurses and physicians at Massachusetts General Hospital, Waltham, MA – the #1 rated hospital in the USA.  The hospital medical practitioners were impressed with the images and encouraged rapid implantation into the market.

The TCO recently added a new member, Neeti Mitra to the team.  Neeti has several core responsibilities including identifying, evaluating and prioritizing invention disclosures, consulting with patent attorneys, drafting non-confidential marketing abstracts, serving as an initial point of contact for potential licensees, managing non-disclosure agreements and inter-institutional agreements, and monitoring our current licensees for compliance purposes.  Please contact Neeti if you have any questions about how to proceed with disclosing a new invention or about the status of your patent application.

We look forward to continuing our work with CUNY inventors and to assisting them with the commercialization of their technologies and to meeting new inventors, so please contact us if you have any questions about a possible discovery generated by your lab.