Can cool research save lives?

When temperatures decrease, hope increases for stroke patients.

We know the symptoms but maybe not the stats: Nearly 800,000 people a year in the United States suffer a stroke, and almost 130,000 people die from a stroke – the fifth leading cause of death. For those who survive, stroke is the leading cause of serious long-term disability.

Dr. Thomas Merrill is working to improve their odds, focusing on more quickly cooling brain tissue damaged by a stroke, focusing on patients who are treated with intra-cranial thrombectomy. The cooling may reduce the final damage from the stroke.

Merrill, a Rowan University mechanical engineering and biomedical engineering professor and founder of FocalCool, LLC, based at the South Jersey Technology Park at Rowan University, is developing a catheter that will do just that. Used in conjunction with existing technologies, his CoolGuide Catheter is projected to cool tissue 10 times faster than competitive technology – and the faster tissue is cooled, the greater the odds are of preserving it. That means less damage, less disability and fewer deaths.

Now in pre-clinical development stage, his team’s work has earned more than $2.6 million from the National Institutes of Health; The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute; and other funders.

Contact Us: For more information about any of these initiatives, please contact:
Dr. Joe Cardona, cardona@rowan.edu, 856-256-4236.