UNIIQ investment for Rotterdam startup Spatium Medical that personalizes insufflation during surgery
To create workspace and visibility during surgery in the abdominal cavity, surgeons use an ‘insufflator’ that blows CO2 gas in the abdominal cavity. Insufflators currently work with a manually set pressure, which causes a risk of unnecessary high pressure. The Rotterdam startup Spatium Medical develops an innovative insufflator that personalizes and stabilizes the insufflation pressure: optimal pressure for every patient, while the workspace for the surgeon remains intact. This leads to less postoperative complications and potentially faster recovery. Together with Erasmus MC, proof-of-concepts fund UNIIQ invests a total of €350.000,- in the Rotterdam startup Spatium Medical. The investment was announced by alderman Simons.
Most minimal invasive surgeries that use the insufflator are in the abdominal cavity (laparoscopic surgeries). Instruments are inserted via a number of small openings. During laparoscopic surgery, the insufflator, the device that blows CO2 gas in the abdominal cavity, is used to create workspace and visibility for the surgeon. Conventional insufflators work with a preset pressure that is chosen by the surgeon, often in consultation with the anesthesiologist. However, even when working according to the guidelines, too much pressure can build up in the abdomen, impeding blood circulation, which can lead to harmful consequences for the patient. With the currently available technology, is it not possible for the surgeon to accurately decide the optimal pressure for each patient. In addition, current insufflators do not take into account the patient’s breathing, which means that sometimes the surgery has to be stopped and valuable time is lost.
Spatium Medical develops a new type of insufflator that offers personalized and safer conditions for the patient. The pressure in the abdominal cavity is continuously being measured and in case too much tension arises here, part of the CO2 gas will be taken back by the insufflator. At the same time, the Spatium Medical insufflator can provide continuous feedback to the surgeon whether the patient’s pressure is still within the limits. The insufflator also takes into account the breathing of the patient, which reduces peak pressure.
Willem Mees, CEO Spatium Medical: “It is very important, especially for young or heavy patients, to be able to personalize the insufflation pressure during surgeries. Thanks to UNIIQ’s investment, we can start testing the technology on people at Erasmus MC and demonstrate this is safer for patients. We hope that, with good results, the first insufflators can be delivered to hospitals for the treatment of patients in 2025.”
UNIIQ often invests in companies in the Life Sciences & Health sector. “It is very good for us to see that we can help improve patient care with an investment. As spin off of Erasmus MC, Spatium Medical has access to very specialized knowledge and we see that the team, with both technical knowledge as well as management experience, has potential to successfully market this product,“ says Hans Dreijklufft, Fund Manager UNIIQ.
Date: March 29, 2023