ICOoregon Feature Story: 

OHSU Inventor Spotlight: Michael P. Hutchens, MD, MA

The office of Technology Transfer & Business Development would like to highlight a particularly innovative or note worthy OHSU inventor and invention at the university. This quarter, our office would like to congratulate Michael P. Hutchens, M.D., M.A., for his work on the “Disinfection device for medical access sites” and the “Anesthetic vapor delivery device” that he has created and submitted to our office.

Dr. Michael Hutchens is an assistant professor in the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University. He also serves as an attending intensivist in the Cardiac and Surgical Intensive Care Unit. His current research interests involve ischemic renal failure. He is particularly interested in the profound sexual dimorphism in incidence and outcome of ischemic renal failure and the consequential implications for intervention.

Dr. Hutchens originally planned a career as a professor of English, receiving the baccalaureate degree at Oberlin College. While studying for the Master of Arts in literature at Binghamton University, however, he became focused on medicine. He subsequently completed premedical studies at Goucher College and entered the University of Maryland where he earned his medical degree. After finishing a residency in anesthesiology at OHSU, Dr. Hutchens trained as a fellow in critical care medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, before returning to OHSU in July 2005.

Dr. Hutchens is the recipient of a K08 mentored scientist grant to study “Sex Difference in Renal Injury After Cardiac Arrest: Mechanisms of Estrogen Action.”

When he is not at the hospital, Dr. Hutchens enjoys gardening, bird-watching and playing cricket with his family.

Of the nine Invention Disclosures Dr. Hutchens has submitted to Technology Transfer & Business Development since 2007, two of the most recent submissions are of interest.

The “Disinfection device for medical access sites” is a catheter hub closure port device providing targeted application of ultraviolet light ensuring central venous catheters, and other medical access site catheters, are disinfected and clean. The OHSU device aims to reduce central line associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) which are caused by healthcare workers, and, as a “never event”, are considered unreimbursable by the Centers for Medicare Services. With a reported mortality of 12-25%, and US health care costs of approximately $2.3 billion yearly, CLABSI reduction is a priority of the World Health Organization, Centers for disease Control, the Joint Commission, and OHSU. This technology is exclusively optioned to a company for evaluation. A US Provisional patent application has been filed.

The second technology of interest is “Anesthetic vapor device,” which is an anesthetic delivery system which digitally controls agent temperature to deliver clinical anesthetic vapor concentrations. The OHSU device works by cooling an anesthetic gas to very low temperatures at which clinical concentrations of vapor are created. The concentration of anesthetic delivered to the patient is controlled by controlling the temperature of the anesthetic liquid rather than flow of the fresh gas as in variable-bypass vaporizers. Currently available variable-bypass anesthetic vaporizers are single-agent specific, require frequent calibration and maintenance, and are heavy and slow to change concentration. This can be challenging in non-operating room circumstances such as animal research laboratories, intensive care units, medical transport, and military field environments. The OHSU device comprises an insulated vessel for the liquid anesthetic, a thermoelectric refrigeration system to cool the vessel, and an electronic controlling device with custom software to set the desired agent concentration and temperature using proportional-integral-derivative algorithms. Advantages include decreased size and weight; can be used as a universal system for a wide variety of liquid anesthetics; and no need for calibration. A US Provisional patent application has been filed.

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