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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/N019628/1
Title: Integrated Microwave Amplifiers for Electrosurgical Applications
Principal Investigator: Duff, Dr CI
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Bangor University Creo Medical Filtronic
The Christie Hospital Charitable Appeals
Department: Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Organisation: University of Manchester, The
Scheme: First Grant - Revised 2009
Starts: 27 April 2016 Ends: 31 May 2017 Value (£): 99,244
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Med.Instrument.Device& Equip. RF & Microwave Technology
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
25 Nov 2015 Engineering Prioritisation Panel Meeting 25th and 26th November 2015 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Modern surgical techniques, while extremely successful in curing life threatening diseases, can involve large volumes of tissue removal and possibly blood loss, with impacts upon recovery times, risk of infection and, in the longer term, quality of life. Radio frequency and microwave energy can be and is used in surgical systems to treat a vast range of medical conditions, such as benign and cancerous lesions, heart, liver and eye conditions and obesity (microwave assisted liposuction), with beneficial effects including tissue removal, heating, blood clotting and drying. Cancers of the lung, bowel, breast and prostate accounted for almost half (46%) of all cancer deaths in the UK in 2012 and more than 1 in 3 people will be diagnosed with some form of cancer during their lifetime. However, many clinical applications currently remain unrealised, prohibited by technology that addresses the requirements for power generation and application to the treatment site in a separate manner, greatly limiting overall functionality. Existing systems have proven the capabilities of microwaves; now is the time to realise their full potential in surgery.

Accordingly, the proposed research is targeted towards optimising surgery to achieve high precision, minimally invasive surgery using targeted, non-ionising microwave and mm-wave energy. Revolutionising treatments for cancer and other diseases, efficacy will ultimately be improved and the side effects or disruption encountered with existing radiotherapy, chemotherapy or surgery reduced. Performed via an antenna, or applicator, keyhole laparoscopic or endoscopic surgery can be performed with minimal risk to the patient. However, the microwave power source is currently over specified to overcome system losses to the treatment site inside the body. Less than 25% of the applied microwave energy reaches the treatment site; the rest wastefully and potentially dangerously dissipated in the cable as heat over traversed regions of the body not targeted for treatment. The opportunity exists to greatly reduce the cost and size of the source.

With the advent of high power density microwave semiconductor devices, clinical effects are achievable much more effectively and efficiently by transforming the system architecture and housing the microwave power source at the point of demand - inside the treatment applicator. Low cost commercial devices are capable of providing the required power levels, with chip dimensions of 0.85 x 1.1 mm to provide an incredibly compact solution. In collaboration with the Christie and Creo Medical, microwave developments will target technology that has undergone preclinical studies for bowel conditions. Applicator integration will deliver an operational concept demonstrator for representative tissue model testing. Manufacturing challenges must be solved to integrate the electronics together with complex antenna structures and future manufacturing technologies, such as 3D printing, will be exploited to produce cost effective applicators. The project will enable a clinically driven trajectory of microwave system developments towards compact applicators that will enable confirmation of diagnosis, energy dose calculation, highly controlled and targeted treatment, efficacy assessment and safe exit to prevent seeding, all in a single minimally invasive intervention procedure. It is envisaged that a range of clinical procedures could be enabled in an outpatient environment or within the patient's home that would otherwise have occurred within an operating theatre.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.man.ac.uk