Prostate cancer accounts for approximately 10% of all cancer-related deaths. Percutaneous radiotherapy is an external treatment that subjects cancer cells to ionising radiation over a specified period of time, and does not have any major side effects. Using CAT scans, 3-D radiation areas can be generated to minimise damage to proximal healthy tissue.
Nevertheless, healthy tissue could be damaged by an excessive radiation dose or an expanded radiation field. To eliminate this risk, Swedish device company Micropos Medical AB commissioned Raumedic AG to develop a localisation probe for its RayPilot system. The probe is placed via CT control directly at the tumour site. The implanted probe enables the physician to quickly and accurately localise the tumour and target radiation of the affected area while continuously recording and monitoring the strength of the radiation dose.
To fabricate the probe, Raumedic chose a radiopaque polyurethane material because of its biotoxicological characteristics and haemocompatibility, as well its flexibility. The material also stands up well to extrusion and is compatible with electronic components that are embedded in the catheter tip.
Microcables are pulled into the tubing prior to encapsulation, and a connection is established between the electronics in the catheter’s proximal tip and a plug on the distal end. During these manufacturing steps, various assembly processes such as adhesives and soldering are applied. To ensure a secure connection, epoxy-based or UV-curing adhesives were used.
Sophisticated process steps, which include soldering small-diameter wires, are carried out by skilled personnel at microscope-equipped workstations. An alternative to inserting wires into tubing lumens is to embed the wires in the tubing wall during extrusion.
Raumedic has extensive materials and manufacturing expertise, and routinely integrates electronics such as microchips, storage devices or cameras into medical products.