Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

A Catheter and Method for Cardiac Intracavitary Mapping and Navigation

Technology #5848

This is an intracardiac mapping catheter that can be used in cardiac electrophysiology studies to guide catheter ablation for treating cardiac arrhythmias. It is a non-contact mapping system that detects movement of the blood inside a heart chamber and uses that information to localize the source of fibrillation in the heart wall. Atrial fibrillation is the most common type of arrhythmia that affects over 7 million people in the US and the European Union. It is a chronic progressive rhythm disorder that can become permanent and increase the risk of stroke, congestive heart failure, and sudden cardiac death. Anti-arrhythmic drugs are largely ineffective in treating this condition and cause harmful side effects. Although catheter ablation procedures have high success rates for eliminating paroxysmal atrial fibrillation, there is still great need for efficacious treatments of persistent and permanent types of atrial fibrillation.

Non-contact Based Catheter to Identify and Localize Drivers of Fibrillation

Researchers at the University of Michigan Center for Arrhythmia Research developed a non-contact mapping catheter that can be used to localize the drivers of reentrant activity that cause tachycardia and fibrillation. This catheter is used to measure electrical activity of the blood inside a heart chamber, and this information is then analyzed to determine the location of the driver of fibrillation in the heart wall. A prototype of this device was built and tested in a solution-filled left atrium of a sheep during pacing sinus rhythm and atrial fibrillation. Data analysis revealed the presence of a continuous filament made up of phase singularity points found inside the hollow catheter tip. The trajectory of this filament could be extended from the catheter tip to the atrial wall, and this point was identified as the driver of fibrillation that could be targeted for ablation. Currently the vast majority of mapping catheters need to make contact with the cardiac wall in order to measure its electrical activity, which is a very time-consuming process and requires a stable and sustained arrhythmia. This technology overcomes the limitations of contact-based mapping and has the potential to greatly improve the efficacy of catheter ablation for treating complex arrhythmias.


  • Intracardiac mapping and navigation
  • Guide catheter ablation


  • Non-contact based mapping
  • Improve efficacy of cardiac ablation
  • Shortens the length of procedure