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Duke Capital Partners Leads Investment in Lacuna Medical

Lacuna Medical logo on top, Duke Capital Partners logo below

March 30, 2023 8:00AM Eastern Daylight Time

DURHAM, N.C. — Lacuna Medical, Inc., a medical device start-up company, today announced that it has closed a Seed financing led by Duke Capital Partners, the early-stage venture investment arm of Duke University.

Lacuna Medical, a Duke University spinout, is developing a novel catheter device for drainage applications in surgical procedures licensed from Duke University. Using a patented design, the catheter coils in on itself after insertion, providing security from slippage and protection from clogging for the catheter’s proximal holes.

Animation showing how Lacuna Medical’s catheter is inserted, curls in on itself, and protects proximal holes from clogging.

Lacuna Medical was co-founded in 2017 by Muath Bishawi, MD, MPH, PhD, currently a Cardiothoracic Surgery Resident at the Duke University School of Medicine Department of Surgery and an alum of the Biomedical Engineering PhD program at the Duke University Pratt School of Engineering.

“I remember taking care of a patient that had an end-stage cancer,” said Bishawi, recalling how a patient kept returning to the hospital with persistent issues not related to his disease but to his catheter. “We just needed a better solution.”

Bishawi’s invention and company creation process has been supported by the Duke University Office for Translation & Commercialization and its Duke New Ventures program.

“We worked with Dr. Bishawi on protecting and licensing his catheter technology from an early stage, and we are excited to support him and Lacuna Medical on their commercialization journey,” said Robin Rasor, Associate VP for Translation & Commercialization.

Duke Capital Partners has played a role from early on in Lacuna Medical’s journey, with Bishawi participating in its two-year student Associate program. Duke Capital Partners members and other Duke University inventors number among the company’s co-founders, including Ken Gall, PhD, Joseph Knight, PhD, Kurt Jacobus, PhD, and Jack Griffin.

“Lacuna Medical is a case study in how world-class faculty researchers collaborate with supportive mentors and resources, such as Duke Capital Partners. The University’s entrepreneurial ecosystem is purpose-built to help advance innovative technologies like Lacuna’s catheter,” said Kurt Schmidt, Managing Director of Duke Capital Partners.

Upon the closing of this round of financing, Duke Capital Partners member and former Board Chair and CEO of Medtronic, William A. Hawkins III, will join the Lacuna Medical Board of Directors.

About Lacuna Medical

Lacuna Medical, Inc., is developing a 3D shape catheter that is more resistant to catheter failure.

About Duke Capital Partners

Duke Capital Partners is the early-stage venture investment arm of Duke University. Duke Capital Partners leverages the power of the global Duke community to invest in and support entrepreneurs, to educate and empower students, and to engage and activate its members’ contributions to the University’s innovation ecosystem. Learn more at:


Kurt Schmidt
Managing Director, Duke Capital Partners