Oberlin-based Synapse Biomedical receives FDA approval for breathing device used by Christopher Reeve

resource icon
Published April 5, 2023 | By Gretchen Cuda Kroen,

NeuRx DPS allows for a more natural method of breathing. Rather than forcing air into the patient’s lungs, the muscles of the diaphragm are stimulated with battery powered electrodes to expand and draw air in.

It can be used in patients with spinal cord injuries whose muscles still respond to electrical stimulation but the patients cannot consciously control the diaphragm themselves.

Although originally designed to allow for breathing without the assistance of a mechanical ventilator for four hours a day, the company says many patients have gone on to use the device as long as 24 continuous hours.

The company says they expect more hospitals to begin implementing the NeuRx DPS now that they no longer have to undergo the lengthy internal review and approval process required under the exemption.

The system was pioneered by Raymond Onders, chair of surgical innovation at UH Cleveland Medical Center, and J. Thomas Mortimer, professor emeritus of Biomedical Engineering at CWRU.

“The new FDA approval is great news for patients,” Onders said. “Rapid weaning from mechanical ventilation allows for faster rehabilitation—giving patients a better chance of recovery, independence, and a new more normal way of life.”

Read more at 

Explore our Innovation Pathways