Women’s health company Verso Biosense develops device that could revolutionise fertility treatment

Verso Biosense device

Five women in the UK have become the first in the world to receive a tiny wireless implant developed by Abingdon-based Verso Biosense that could revolutionise fertility treatment.

The micro-sensing device, developed by engineers at Verso Biosense alongside fertility experts and engineers at the University of Southampton, monitors oxygen, pH and temperature levels inside the womb.

These critical measurements have never been recorded in vivo before and represent a major breakthrough in fertility assessment and treatment.

Through the technology, clinicians are able to assess and diagnose some of the causes of unexplained infertility before any treatment begins and find simple solutions to change the condition of the womb, such as probiotics or aspirin.

Scientists believe the breakthrough could lead to clinicians being able to assess the health of the womb in a similar way to taking a patient’s blood pressure or critical organ measurements, and enable doctors to offer more tailored fertility care.

The sensor was originally invented by Professor Ying Cheong, a reproductive medicine specialist, and bioelectronics engineer Professor Hywel Morgan, both of the University of Southampton, and is now being developed and commercialised by Verso Biosense.

The procedure to insert the sensor into the womb takes a matter of minutes and remains in place for seven days. Once fitted, data is transmitted wirelessly to a microchip embedded in an external receptor every 30 minutes, with clinicians then able to assess the findings and determine if there are any issues which require intervention.

The technology is being trialled as part of an £850,000 NHS trial funded by the National Institute for Health Research.

The study is expected to close at the end of February 2022.

Professor Ying Cheong, Reproductive Medicine Specialist at University Hospital Southampton commented: “This wireless implant could revolutionise fertility care across the NHS and internationally and improve the chance of conceiving for many women.

“The results so far are encouraging. The device has been well received by patients, data has recorded successfully and there were low levels of discomfort. Overall we are very encouraged and are moving closer towards being able to improve fertility care quite considerably.”

Dr. Joseph Cefai, Head of Product Development at Verso Biosense, added: “It is always exciting to work on a first-of-its-kind, breakthrough medical device. The Verso product, for the first time, provides a continuous, in-situ view into the physio chemistry of the human uterus, an organ that despite its importance to mankind, is still referred to as a ‘black box’.

“There is little doubt that the health information that this device is providing will be vitally important not just in the fertility sector but more broadly in women’s health.”