Vanderbilt Professors' Firm Develops 'Breakthrough Device'

The device increases the flexibility and usefulness of standard endoscopes.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) โ€” A company co-founded by Vanderbilt University professors has received a special designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a breakthrough device.

The designation streamlines the regulatory process for certain medical devices that provide more effective treatment or diagnosis of life-threatening or irreversibly debilitating diseases. In this case, the designation is for a technology developed by Nashville-based EndoTheia that increases the flexibility and usefulness of standard endoscopes, according to a news release from the school.

Robert J. Webster III, a professor of mechanical engineering and associate professor of medicine and urology, is also EndoTheia president. Another Vanderbilt professor, S. Duke Herrell III, is chief medical officer. The pair also co-founded Vanderbilt's Institute for Surgery and Engineering, along with others. Caleb Rucker, who leads the REACH robotics lab at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, is the chief scientific officer.

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