Millar, Inc. Awarded NIH SBIR Grant to Validate Transcutaneous Energy Transfer Technology with AortixTM Cardiac Assist Device

Houston, TX (January 24, 2017) - Millar, Inc., a leader in catheter-based sensor development and wireless power technology, and Procyrion, developer of the Aortix™ cardiac assist device, have received a NIH Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase One grant. The funds will be used to validate Millar’s transcutaneous energy transfer (TET) technology to wirelessly power Procyrion’s Aortix device.

The grant funding will allow Millar and Procyrion to proceed with Phase 1 animal trials to confirm proof of concept and determine the feasibility of utilizing wireless power with the Aortix heart pump. For Millar, this is an exciting opportunity that may help transform how cardiac assist devices are powered in the future and will validate our TET technology in these devices.

“We are excited to be working with Procyrion to create the world’s smallest, fully implantable pump. Combining the Millar TET technology with the Procyrion pump technology eliminates the driveline and associated infection risk allowing us to help NYHA Class III-IVa heart failure patients,” stated David Budgett, Director of Innovation in Auckland, New Zealand.

“Our goal to provide the best possible solution for the millions of people who suffer from heart failure and testing Millar’s TET technology with Aortix gives us the opportunity to do just that,” said Ben Hertzog, CEO of Procyrion. “We look forward to stepping into the lab with Millar to explore this alternative for powering our device.”

Procyrion’s Aortix system is an investigational device designed to provide a minimally invasive treatment option for advanced heart failure patients where drugs are no longer sufficient and a surgical LVAD or heart transplant is a looming option. The device, built around a powerful micro-pump mounted on a set of expandable anchoring struts, is deployed by catheter into the descending aorta and is designed to provide a long-term treatment option to rest and heal the heart by reducing afterload and improving blood flow to vital organs. Currently, the device requires a power lead that passes through the skin.

Millar’s TET technology works by using magnetic fields to transfer energy from a coil mounted outside the body to a coil implanted inside the body, thus keeping the skin intact. The novel approach adjusts the resonant frequency to regulate the power flow such that the implanted device receives the correct power without excess heating and functions under a wide tolerance of operating conditions.

Upon successful animal trials, Procyrion and Millar will determine requirements to incorporate Millar TET technology into the Aortix system. Procyrion’s device is not yet approved for use in humans.

Aortix is a trademark of Procyrion.

About Millar, Inc.
Since 1969, Millar, Inc. has led the development of catheter-based, solid-state pressure sensors and is known worldwide as the leader in sensors that advance medical understanding. Millar OEM serves the medical device and life sciences industries through our MEMS pressure sensors, ISO 13485 precision manufacturing and wireless power technology, resulting in cost savings and rapid time to market for device integration.

About Procyrion
Houston-based medical device firm Procyrion, Inc. is developing the first catheter-deployed, intra-aortic pump for ambulatory use. The device is designed to rest and heal the heart by reducing afterload while simultaneously improving blood flow to vital organs. This groundbreaking cardiology tool, conceived by cardiologist Dr. Reynolds M. Delgado, III, medical director of Mechanical Support Devices in Heart Failure at the Texas Heart Institute, is expected to provide a minimally invasive treatment option for millions of chronic heart failure patients. For more information, visit or call 713.579.9227.


Millar Contact:
Michelle Sanders
Director of Marketing
Millar, Inc.
832-667- 7133
For Procyrion:
Dana Summers
Penman PR
334-663- 4424