Licensing Opportunities


Office of Technology Transfer 

    Innovation Sphere


  • Edwin Jesudason



Project TitleElectrophysiological Diagnosis and Treatment for Asthma
Track Code2011-008
Short Description

Technology Summary: A novel method of diagnosing and treating asthma using electrophysiological mapping based on a novel paradigm of asthma pathophysiology.


Background: Asthma is the most common chronic childhood disease in the U.S. and an increasing problem in emerging economies. Asthma is often incurable and current palliative therapy relies on steroids and bronchodilators. This therapy relies on our current understanding of the pathophysiology of the disease involving airway inflammation, allergy, bronchospasm and airway smooth muscle (ASM) remodeling. Thermoplasty, a novel therapy for severe drug refractory disease, indiscriminately destroys the ASM. In recent years, ASM has been shown to play a key role during prenatal lung development, especially through airway peristalsis, the spontaneous phasic propagation of waves of ASM contractility. Dr. Jesudason and his group showed that this ASM contractility appears to be coupled to lung growth, is underpinned by calcium waves and preferentially arises from discrete pacemaker sites within the proximal airway before distal propagation.

Based on these findings, Dr. Jesudason proposes a novel paradigm where a hierarchy of proximal pacemakers persists in postnatal lungs and where asthma is an intrinsic pacemaker dysrhythmia resulting in abnormal airway contractility. This can then be secondarily influenced by allergy and inflammation. Rhythmicity in asthma is visible in diurnal symptom variations as well as the exaggeration of normal rhythmic fluctuations in airway calibers (homeokinesis). While destroying ASM, thermoplasty may work by inadvertently ablating the dominant proximal pacemakers to render distal airways quiescent. This would explain how a therapy delivered to larger proximal airways (thermoplasty) is effective for a disease of the small airways (asthma).

Technology Description: Dr. Jesudason proposes to use airway electrophysiology to detect and modulate airway contractility in vivo in asthma cases. After locating aberrant pacemaker activity in the airways, radiofrequency ablation can be used discretely on these sites in a minimally-invasive fashion. Implantable devices can also be used to monitor the electrophysiology of routine airway contractility to check for signs of an impending asthma attack and, where necessary, intervene to render the ASM refractory.


  • Long-term treatment and cure of asthma
  • Monitoring and prevention of asthma attacks in chronic refractory asthma using implantable electrophysiological devices


  • A curative treatment to replace current asthma palliation

Development Stage:

  • Preclinical data

IP Protections: Provisional patent application filed

Tagsasthma, allergy, inflammation, asthma pallitation
Posted DateMar 12, 2012 5:56 PM


Edwin Jesudason

Intellectual Property

Patent Number Issue Date Type Country of Filing
None None Other Patent None