Dartmouth researchers have invented a novel method of fallopian tube occlusion for the purpose of sterilization. The method uses nontoxic magnetic particles that are heated by an external alternating magnetic field of the same general type used in magnetic resonance imaging. This treatment method has the potential to be both highly effective and inexpensive, and it can be performed entirely within a gynecologist's office.
The method involves insertion of a catheter through the cervix and into the uterine tubal ostium for delivery of magnetic nanoparticles (MNP) to the intramural portion of the fallopian tube (the portion within the uterine wall). Transcervical catheterization of the human fallopian tube is a routine procedure for practicing gynecologists. The MNP will be coated with a biocompatible material and may be suspended in a biocompatible fibrin solution to enhance the occlusion process after treatment. An external coil is positioned over the patient's abdomen in alignment with the fallopian tube being treated. An alternating current passed through the coil creates a magnetic field that couples energy into the MNP. The consequent heating causes thermal injury to the inner lining of the Fallopian tube. The thermal dose is controlled by the magnetic field strength, concentration of MNP, and treatment time. These are adjusted to give occluding thermal injury in the fallopian tube while sparing non-target tissue.
Dartmouth's innovative method and system reduces training time and placement time, compared with conventional methods and devices. Tubal closure should be achieved in 10 to 21 days, as opposed to the four to six weeks required with conventional implants.
This technology is claimed in a pending patent application. We are seeking an industrial partner interested in its commercialization.
Last Updated: 7/24/12