The University of Minnesota announced Tuesday it launched medical device start-up XO Thermix Medical.

The company's device would treat patients with chronic venous insufficiency, or CVI, a condition caused when leg veins have trouble pushing blood back to the heart, leading to infections and potentially life-threatening ulcers. More than 9 million Americans have significant CVI, the university said.

XO Thermix Medical would insert a catheter into the vein and apply heat to the affected areas to destroy the damaged vein.

"Our initial products are very much in tune with the demands for reducing medical costs and producing better results for patients that lie at the heart of health care reform," CEO Mike Selzer said in a statement.

Selzer has a history of involvement in medical technology. He was the former head of Medtronic's neurostimulation business, a founder of business accelerator ConcepTx Medical and former CEO of Minneapolis-based Urologix Inc.

XO Thermix Medical will use the research of Dr. Erik Cressman, a professor and clinician in the radiology department at the U's medical school. The start-up is the 11th company to spin off from university research in the last 18 months.

The U is an equity partner in the company. XO Thermix is running off money from its founders and the university, with plans to raise more in the future.

Wendy Lee • 612-673-1712