|The compact MSYS245 microwave generator may broaden the scope of microwave ablation applications.|
Microwave ablation has gained increasing prominence as a method for treating cancerous tumors and enabling thermal coagulation of soft tissue. But its potential has been limited by the large size of magnetron tube–based systems, which has confined microwave ablation to surgical theaters and specialty areas in hospitals, according to Gary Beale, CEO of Emblation Microwave. With the MSYS245 medical-grade microwave power generator, however, Emblation aims to provide a portable, affordable, off-the-shelf system to medical device OEMs that it believes can enhance current ablation procedures while paving the way for new ones.
“The market is screaming out for medical microwaves to be used in the office as well as in the [surgical] theater. But due to technical constraints, that wasn’t previously possible,” Beale says.
Identifying this need, Emblation developed the portable, IEC 60601-compliant MSYS245 medical-grade power generator. The system is capable of generating more than 100 W of continuous-wave output at 2.45 GHz from a package that weighs less than 10 lb and measures 11.8 × 2.2 × 10.8 in.
Contributing to this compact design are solid-state components and a more-efficient cooling system than magnetron-based microwave generators, according to Beale. Conventional magnetron-based systems, he says, tend to employ heat sinks and a fan for thermal management, resulting in larger system designs. The MSYS245, in contrast, incorporates a transistor oscillator that feeds a four-stage amplifier for thermal stability. Based on gallium-nitride transistors mounted on silicon-carbide substrates, the amplifier achieves efficiency in excess of 62%. The microwave power generator is also equipped with a heat-pipe-based cooling system designed to remove heat from the amplifier’s active parts and maintain the enclosure at low temperatures, even when operating at full power.
Because of its portability, the MSYS245 could expand the use and location of ablation procedures that require moderate to high microwave power. “You can actually place the system next to the patient or on a small trolley,” Beale notes. “It becomes ultraportable—even for home visits. It opens up a whole new avenue for medical ablation procedures.” Applications include the ablation of soft tissues in the kidney, liver, breast, or lung, for example.
The off-the-shelf system also has potential for replacing laser or radiofrequency (RF) technologies in certain OEM applications. Beale notes that the speed at which the system delivers energy can overcome obstacles such as blood perfusion that RF and other conductive treatments may encounter.
“For the patient, [the MSYS245] can give a more robust and repeatable outcome as opposed to other treatments, which are often tied to how good or bad the user is,” Beale says. “For the user, it opens up a new scope of treatments that were previously limited by less-effective technologies. We’re opening up the ability to use microwaves, which couple the energy effectively into the body and give a superior treatment.”
Published in MPMN, May 2011, Volume 27, No. 4
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