Ceramic Industry

Targeting Tumors

March 28, 2012

CI0412-morgan-inbody-300px.jpgMorgan Technical Ceramics has designed and manufactured the ceramic tips for a medical device from Microsulis Medical Ltd. that destroys tumors in a minimally invasive procedure. As a result of using the new system, both patient trauma following surgery and post-operation recovery time are significantly reduced. Patients can be sent home on the day of surgery, reducing hospital stays, which is better for the patient and reduces the cost to healthcare providers.


New Treatment Option
The Acculis Microwave Tissue Ablation (MTA) system is an emerging technology used for the coagulation of soft tissue. Clinicians have successfully used the device to treat tumors of the liver, lung, kidney and bone. Critical to the ablation system is a 1.8-mm-diameter closed saline-cooled ceramic-tipped needle—the Accu2i pMTA applicator—which pierces the patient’s skin to reach the tumor. High-power, 2.45GHz microwave energy is then emitted through the tip of the needle directly into the tissue, and controlled heating desiccates the tumor. 

The device can address tumors up to 5.6 cm in size in just six minutes, and is between three and 10 times faster than other systems. In alternative, more invasive treatments, patients would usually need to recover in the hospital for up to three weeks following the procedure.


Incorporating Zirconia
Morgan Technical Ceramics’ applications engineers recommended zirconia-based materials for the tip of the device, as the material’s high strength and mechanical properties enable small intricate shapes to be manufactured. This material can withstand extreme temperatures and is strong enough to be manufactured into a hollow fine point of 1.8 mm in diameter without breaking. It is also bio-compatible and has no adverse reaction with tissue.

Morgan Technical Ceramics works in partnership with medical device manufacturers to develop competitive, customized solutions to meet their needs. The company can reportedly manufacture components to highly complex geometries, achieving exacting geometric tolerances without secondary machining. In addition, it can provide the production capability to manage and support volume requirements ranging from low thousands to millions of components per year.
“We are delighted to be involved in a project that is set to change the way tumor surgery is performed,” says Brian Turner, technical sales executive. “Components made from ceramic materials can now be manufactured to such small sizes and tight tolerances that they enable groundbreaking techniques such as this to be developed.”

“With the benefit of Morgan Technical Ceramics’ extensive knowledge of ‘micro-molding,’ we have been able to bring this new product to market,” said Stuart McIntyre, chief executive of Microsulis Medical. “Historically, cancer treatments have included invasive techniques, such as surgical removal of the tumor, or minimally invasive procedures, such as chemotheraphy and radiofrequency ablation (RFA), which come with their own problems. This ceramic tip has allowed us to develop a microwave ablative therapy that offers clinicians another option, with the potential to treat more patients and reduce costs.”

The launch of the Accu2i pMTA applicator followed two years of extensive clinical use and evaluation in major medical centers in the U.S., Asia-Pacific, UK and Europe. The device is CE-marked, FDA 510(k) cleared and approved for use in many territories, including the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and Canada. 

For more information, visit www.morgantechnicalceramics.com. Microsulis Medical’s website is located at www.microsulis.com.