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1. (EP2389141) APPARATUS FOR RESTRICTING FLOW THROUGH THE WALL OF A LUMEN
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Claims

1. An expandable substantially spherical structure (5) for deployment in a blood vessel or other body lumen, the expandable substantially spherical structure (5) comprising:

an open frame (10) configured to assume (i) a collapsed configuration in the form of a substantially two-dimensional elongated loop structure so as to facilitate insertion into the blood vessel or other body lumen, and (ii) an expanded configuration in the form of a three-dimensional substantially spherical structure (5) so as to facilitate retention at a site in the blood vessel or other body lumen; and

a single flow-restricting face (15) carried by the open frame (10);

wherein the open frame (10) is configured so as to permit substantially normal flow therethrough when the open frame (10) is in its expanded configuration, and further wherein the single flow-restricting (15) face is configured so as to restrict flow therethrough,

wherein the open frame (10) and the single flow-restricting face (15) are formed solely out of a single closed loop of wire; and

wherein the single flow-restricting face (15) is formed by a plurality of lengths of the closed loop of wire disposed in close proximity to one other.


  2. An expandable substantially spherical structure (5) according to claim 1 wherein the single flow-restricting face (15) is impervious to fluid flow.
  3. An expandable substantially spherical structure (5) according to claim 1 wherein the single flow-restricting face (15) is not impervious to fluid flow.
  4. An expandable substantially spherical structure (5) according to claim 1 wherein the open frame (10) is self-sizing, with the dimensions of the expanded configuration of the open frame (10) being established by the size of the blood vessel or other body lumen.
  5. An expandable substantially spherical structure (5) according to claim 1 wherein the open frame (10) is configured to assume its expanded configuration in situ within the blood vessel or other body lumen.
  6. An expandable substantially spherical structure (5) according to claim 1 wherein the open frame (10) comprises a resilient material.
  7. An expandable substantially spherical structure (5) according to claim 6 wherein the resilient material comprises a shape memory alloy.
  8. An expandable substantially spherical structure (5) according to claim 6 wherein the resilient material comprises a polymer.
  9. An expandable substantially spherical structure (5) according to claim 1 wherein the open frame (10) is configured to assume its collapsed configuration when cooled to a temperature below body temperature and to assume its expanded configuration when heated to body temperature.
  10. An expandable substantially spherical structure (5) according to claim 1 wherein the open frame (10) is configured to transform from its expanded configuration to its collapsed configuration by the application of mechanical stress.
  11. An expandable substantially spherical structure (5) according to claim 1 wherein the open frame (10) is configured to transform from its collapsed configuration to its expanded configuration by the release of mechanical stress.
  12. A system for restricting flow to an opening in the side wall of a blood vessel or other body lumen and/or reinforcing a weakness in the side wall or apex of a bifurcation of the blood vessel or other body lumen, while maintaining substantially normal flow through the blood vessel or other body lumen, comprising:

an expandable substantially spherical structure (5) according to claim 1;

an installation tool (300) for carrying the expandable substantially spherical structure (5) to a deployment site, wherein the installation tool (300) comprises:
an elongated structure (305, 315) having a first mount (310, 320) for seating a first portion of the closed loop of wire and a second mount (310, 320) for seating a second portion of the closed loop of wire, the first mount (310, 320) and the second mount (310, 320) being movable relative to one another between a first position and a second position so that (i) when the first portion of the closed loop of wire is seated in the first mount (310, 320) and the second portion of the closed loop of wire is seated in the second mount (310, 320) and the first mount (310, 320) and second mount (310, 320) are in their first position, the open frame (10) is in its expanded substantially spherical configuration (5), and (ii) when the first portion of the closed loop of wire is seated in the first mount (310,320) and the second portion of the closed loop of wire is seated in the second mount (310, 320) and the first mount (310,320) and second mount (310, 320) are in their second position, the open frame (10) is in its collapsed and elongated configuration.


  13. A system according to claim 12 wherein the elongated structure comprises a hollow catheter (315).
  14. A system according to claim 12 wherein the first mount (310) of the installation tool (300) is formed by a slot in the distal end of the elongated structure (305).
  15. A system according to claim 12 wherein the second mount of the installation tool (300) is formed by a projection extending laterally outboard from the elongated structure (315).
  16. A system according to claim 12 wherein the first mount (320) is fixed in position on the elongated structure (315) and the second mount (310) is movable relative to the elongate structure (315).
  17. A system according to claim 12 further comprising a hollow sleeve ( 325) sized to receive the expandable substantially spherical structure (5) when the expandable substantially spherical structure (5) is mounted on the elongated structure (305, 315).