Ceramic tips treat tumours

Morgan Technical Ceramics has designed and manufactured ceramic tips for a ground-breaking medical device that destroys tumours in a minimally invasive procedure.

The Acculis Microwave Tissue Ablation (MTA) system has been successfully used to treat tumours of the liver, lung, kidney and bone. Critical to it is a 1.8mm diameter closed, saline-cooled, ceramic-tipped needle, the Accu2i pMTA applicator, which pierces the patient's skin in order to reach the tumour.

High-power, 2.45GHz microwave energy is then emitted through the tip of the needle directly into the tissue and controlled heating desiccates the tumour.

The tip uses a Zirconia-based material as its high strength and mechanical properties enable small intricate shapes to be manufactured. The material can withstand extreme temperatures and is strong enough to be manufactured into a hollow fine point without breaking. It is also bio-compatible and has no adverse reaction with tissue.

Brian Turner, technical sales executive at Morgan Technical Ceramics, said: "Components made from ceramic materials can now be manufactured to such small sizes and tight tolerances that they enable techniques such as this to be developed."

Justin Cunningham

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