Columbia University

Technology Ventures

Optically-integrated catheter for real-time monitoring of lesion formation during radiofrequency ablation

Technology #cu16008

This technology employs an optically-integrated catheter to directly assess lesion formation in cardiac tissue during radiofrequency ablation (RFA) therapy.

Unmet Need: Real-time feedback on extent of tissue ablation during RFA treatment

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) therapy treats cardiac irregularities by creating non-conducting lesions within the problematic heart tissue to disrupt aberrant electrical signals. However, current RFA treatments are unable to provide sufficient real-time feedback on the extent or sufficiency of tissue ablation, causing decreased long-term efficacy of treatment. Additional RFA treatments are often required to fully treat these irregularities and restore proper cardiac function.

The Technology: Optically-integrated catheter measures myoglobin content in real-time to track lesion formation during ablation

This technology is an optically-integrated catheter that is capable of directly assessing lesion formation during RFA therapy. This technology employs an RFA catheter that ablates cardiac tissue while concurrently measuring the concentrations of myoglobin-based proteins using diffuse reflectance spectroscopy. As these myoglobin-based proteins are known to accumulate in damaged or necrotic tissue, measuring their concentration during ablation enables real-time and continuous assessment of the extent and quality of lesion formation.

This technology has been used to characterize lesion ablation in ex-vivo human atrial tissue samples.


  • Monitoring lesion formation during RFA treatment of cardiac arrhythmias and other cardiac conduction disorders
  • Determining lesion formation in other ablation procedures, such as tumor ablation
  • Measurement of myoglobin-based proteins during surgery


  • Real-time characterization
  • High spatial resolution
  • Integrates into commercial RFA probes
  • Direct method to determine lesion formation
  • Reduces need for additional RFA treatments

Lead Inventor:

Christine P. Hendon, Ph.D.

Patent Information:

Patent Pending (WO/2017/044941)

Related Publications:

Tech Ventures Reference: