Procyrion Hires Bioengineer Interns Benavides, Songkakul To Advance Development of Micro Heart Pump


Procyrion, Inc., developers of the first catheter-deployed circulatory assist device for the ambulatory treatment of heart failure, appointed bioengineer interns Omar Benavides, Ph.D. to senior product development engineer and Tanner Songkakul to product development engineer. Benavides and Songkakul will facilitate the building and testing of the hardware and software control systems necessary to deploy, power and operate the company’s first-in-class cardiologist tool, Aortix™.

“We are entering an extremely important phase in the development of Aortix as we prepare for first-in-man trials.  The addition of Omar and Tanner to the team allow us to continue the momentum in bringing this device to millions of heart failure patients in need,” said Benjamin A. Hertzog, Ph.D., President and CEO of Procyrion.

Dr. Benavides, a scientist in the field of cardiovascular tissue engineering with experience in circulatory support devices, serves as senior product development engineer.  In this role, he manages the design of various mechanical components of the Aortix system, including development and in vitro performance testing of the catheter tools used to deploy and retrieve the pump.  Dr. Benavides is also involved in pilot manufacturing and quality compliance of the product.  Dr. Benavides earned his Ph.D. in Bioengineering from Rice University.

An experienced medical device hardware and software designer, Mr. Songkakul is responsible for leading innovation and prototyping of many of the electronic components of the Aortix system, including power, control and data management functions.  Prior to Procyrion, Mr. Songkakul managed the development of an electronic sensing introducer sheath system (used to detect internal bleeding complications during vascular access procedures) for another Houston, TX based medical device start-up.  Songkakul is a graduate of Rice University where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Electronics Engineering.

Houston-based medical device firm Procyrion, Inc. is developing the first catheter-deployed, intra-aortic pump for ambulatory use.  The device is designed to rest and heal the heart by reducing afterload while simultaneously improving blood flow to vital organs. This groundbreaking cardiology tool, conceived by cardiologist Dr. Reynolds M. Delgado, III, medical director of Mechanical Support Devices in Heart Failure at the Texas Heart Institute, is expected to provide a minimally invasive treatment option for millions of chronic heart failure patients.  For more information, visit or call 713.579.9227.

Anna Drake
Penman PR

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