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Software & CAD / Test and Measurement

The MMIC

January 17, 2011
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Meridian Medical Systems Improves Treatment of a Critical Heart Condition Using Microwave Technology.

AWR(R) Software and TriQuint Foundry Process Make Company's Radiometer Development a Painless Procedure.

The story: Meridian Medical Systems (MMS), founded by microwave industry veteran and IEEE Fellow Dr. Kenneth Carr, uses the inherent characteristics of electromagnetic energy in medical application to provide solutions that have eluded other technologies. The company's latest product solves a problem in treating cardiac arrhythmia (when the heart beats too slowly, too fast, or irregularly) using cardiac ablation that selectively destroys tissue to ensure that the "signal"controlling the heartbeat follows the proper path. It is essential that the proper amount of tissue is destroyed, but previous solutions do not provide real-time feedback about how much energy to apply because their temperature sensors measure only the value in the tip, rather than the tissue itself.

A catheter developed by MMS simultaneously delivers microwave radiation for tissue heating and directly senses the temperature of the heart wall using a radiometer remote sensing device fabricated as a microwave monolithic integrated circuit (MMIC). The MMIC was designed using AWR's Microwave Office(R) high-frequency EDA software and transferred to TriQuint Semiconductor's foundry using a process design kit (PDK) developed jointly by AWR and TriQuint. The article details the process as well as the technology developed by MMS and is available at www.awrcorp.com.

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