Dr. Pierre Gobin is the inventor of the MERCI Retriever, a catheter corkscrew device that slips into the blood vessels of the brain to hook onto and then remove blood clots.

But now, Dr. Gobin is working on another pioneering advancement: the combination of the MERCI device with a drug delivery system to protect the affected part of the brain as blockages are removed. Doing so might help to minimize damage to blood-starved brain tissue, while lowering the risks associated with removal of a blockage, such as reperfusion hemorrhage - a form of bleeding caused by the weakening of blood vessels due to the absence of blood flow.

For the first time, Dr. Gobin and his team, in collaboration with faculty at Cornell University's School of Engineering in Ithaca, New York, have developed a novel microcatheter to successfully deliver neuroprotective drugs through the brain arteries of a rat.

The compounds were infused both into an entire hemisphere of the brain, and into the basal ganglia, the deep brain structures that help start and control movement and which are often damaged by stroke.

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, located in New York City, is one of the leading academic medical centers in the world, comprising the teaching hospital NewYork-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medical College, the medical school of Cornell University. NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell provides state-of-the-art inpatient, ambulatory and preventive care in all areas of medicine, and is committed to excellence in patient care, education, research and community service. Weill Cornell physician-scientists have been responsible for many medical advances - from the development of the Pap test for cervical cancer to the synthesis of penicillin, the first successful embryo-biopsy pregnancy and birth in the U.S., the first clinical trial for gene therapy for Parkinson's disease, the first indication of bone marrow's critical role in tumor growth, and, most recently, the world's first successful use of deep brain stimulation to treat a minimally-conscious brain-injured patient. NewYork-Presbyterian, which is ranked sixth on the U.S.News & World Report list of top hospitals, also comprises NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester Division and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/The Allen Pavilion. Weill Cornell Medical College is the first U.S. medical college to offer a medical degree oversees and maintains a strong global presence in Austria, Brazil, Haiti, Tanzania, Turkey and Qatar.

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital
Weill Cornell Medical Center

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