Medtronic Acquires Rights to a Gel Technology

The company said that the technology can potentially be used to prevent complications during sinus surgery.

Medtronic, Inc., announced Friday that it has purchased a gel technology that can potentially prevent certain side effects of sinus-related surgery, such as bleeding and post-surgery scarring.

The Fridley-based medical device maker bought the technology from Adelaide Research & Innovation Pty Ltd., in Australia, Robinson Squidgel, Ltd., and Otago Innovation, Ltd., in New Zealand. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Medtronic hopes to use the so-called chitosan-dextran gel technology to develop products for functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS), a type of procedure used to treat conditions including recurring acute or chronic infective sinus inflammation.

The company said the chitosan-dextran gel has been shown in animal studies, as well as a human trial, to provide control of bleeding and aid in healing after FESS.

According to the company, more than 525,000 of these procedures are performed annually in the U.S., and the most common complications are bleeding and adhesions, which are scars that can form at the surgical site as sinus tissues heal after surgery. These adhesions can block the sinuses and can lead to the recurrence of the disease, requiring further surgery.

“The chitosan-dextran gel technology would enhance Medtronic's ability to offer innovative, therapeutic products for sinus surgeons to use in postoperative patient care,” Mark Fletcher, president of the ear, nose, throat (ENT) division of Medtronic's surgical technologies business, said in a statement. “As a leader in the FESS market, we're pleased to have the opportunity to expand our FESS product portfolio.”

Medtronic is the world's largest medical device company, and Minnesota's seventh-largest public company based on revenue, which totaled $15.8 billion in its most recently completed fiscal year.