Nimble Diagnostics is founded to monitor stents using microwave technology

Group photograph of Nimble Diagnostics representatives

Group photograph of Nimble Diagnostics representatives

Nimble Diagnostics is a spin-off that develops microwave-based technology to monitor stents implanted in patients with cardiovascular, vascular, renal or lung disease. This is a spin-off of the Germans Trias i Pujol Research Institute (IGTP), the University of Barcelona (UB) and the UPC that has developed a device that will identify possible obstructions to the stents in a fast and non-invasive way.

Mar 29, 2022

Stents are the most commonly implanted medical devices in the world due to their ability to restore correct flow in blood and other fluids. These cannulas are frequently used to treat cardiovascular diseases: they help to prevent myocardial stroke and treat a patient’s symptoms after they have suffered one. Unfortunately, these small implants can be damaged or become obstructed, but symptoms only occur when the stent has lost 90% of its functionality, which is too late for medical staff to prevent the patient’s condition from worsening.

In these cases, medical staff must carry out an invasive procedure called angiography, which consists in introducing a catheter into the artery to inspect the stent directly. Obviously, this is a complex and invasive procedure and the patient requires anaesthetic, receives a high dose of X-rays and must stay in hospital for at least 24 hours, with the associated high costs.

All of this leads to a situation in which professional medical staff cannot act on a problem until it has appeared, a situation that increases the risk of severe complications such as a stroke, a heart attack and even sudden death, which could be avoided if other methods were used.

After identifying this need, research staff at the Germans Trias i Pujol Research Institute (IGTP), the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya · BarcelonaTech (UPC) and the University of Barcelona (UB) have founded Nimble Diagnostics, a spin-off to commercialise a device to monitor stents with a technology based on microwaves. The Nimble system allows possible cardiac problems to be identified before it is too late and in an entirely non-invasive way that is also fast and easy to use. This makes it possible to apply early treatments to prevent serious complications, such as identifying the optimal pharmacological treatment for patients, correlating the symptoms with the functioning of the stent and taking a holistic approach to treating the patient.

The spin-off will be led by the researchers Dr Oriol Iborra (CEO) and Susana Amorós (CTO) and its co-founders are Dr Carolina Gàlvez, Dr Oriol Rodríguez and Dr Antoni Bayés (IGTP), professors Joan M. O’Callaghan, Lluís Jofre and Jordi Romeu (UPC) and Professor Javier Tejada (UB). The aim is to carry out preclinical testing on pigs and complete technical stress tests in 2022 to be able to commercialise the technology from 2025 onwards.

Nimble works towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and in particular goals three, eight and nine. Nimble’s mission is to guarantee healthy lives and promote well-being for all people (Goal three: Good Health and Well-Being). Regarding goal eight (Decent Work and Economic Growth) the team that makes up the spin-off works to strengthen local, national and international economic growth while ensuring that the technology benefits all levels of society, as well as opening up new medical opportunities. Finally, in line with goal nine (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure) the company is involved in multidisciplinary processes that encourage the development of collaborative projects. Additionally, it is in the process of industrial automatisation, which will allow manufacturers to optimise timings and costs.