Tempo: Temporary Epicardial Pacing Wire Removal


Program: Biomedical Engineering

In the U.S., approximately 765,000 cardiac surgery patients receive temporary epicardial pacing wires (TEPW) annually (IData Research, 2021, June 01). TEPW are used in the 4-6 days following open heart surgery to either prevent or normalize temporary, postoperative dysrhythmias (Batra & Balaj, 2008). When TEPW are removed, fatal complications, such as cardiac perforation and tamponade, occur for 1.2% of patients (Elmistekawy, 2016; Cote., 2020). Hospitals combat the potential for these deadly morbidities with prophylactic measures for all 765,000 patients, which congests the hospital workflow and results in longer hospital stays and unnecessary costs to both the hospital and patients. The novel Tempo wire re-engineers the standard TEPW to reduce endpoint complications of wire removal, thereby negating the need for extensive post-removal monitoring.

Tempo improves upon the current industry standard TEPW and seamlessly integrates into hospital workflow. Tempo modifies the wire design without making major alterations to the insertion and removal processes. Initial prototypes of our design provide proof-of-concept for reducing force applied to the heart during removal and pacing the heart at the current standard. Moving forward, tests will be conducted with more physiological models to further validate current results before clinical testing. Additionally, the manufacturing process will be standardized, and the team will move forward with the intellectual property process. This design holds great promise for those using and receiving TEPW, with great potential to decrease incidence of morbidities and hospital workflow congestion.

James Gammie, M.D. (Clinical Mentor)
Rachael Quinn, Ph.D. (Clinical Mentor)
Elizabeth Logsdon, Ph.D. (BME Mentor)
Jennifer Schultz (TA)
Glenn Whitman, M.D. (Committee Member)
Youseph Yazdi, Ph.D. (Committee Member)
Hannah Rando, M.D. (Committee Member)
Kim Cosetti, PA/SA (Committee Member)

Team Members

  • Miles Lee
  • Kathy Liu
  • Gyeongtae Moon
  • Rebecca Mosier
  • Eileen Stiles
  • Matt Vergel
  • Emma Whitehead
  • Dylan Zhu

Project Links

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