GA Tech has lead - Microirradiator for Treatment of Skin Tumors


Current State of the Art:

The incidence of cancer is rising worldwide, with more than 11 million cases recorded annually. Incidence is expected to increase further, driven by rising life expectancy rates and aging global population. This is expected to increase the demand in the radiation therapy market which is currently experiencing technological advancements leading to more effective therapy that is precise and commercially viable. Highly accurate and targeted radiation therapy has the potential to replace surgery, driving the demand for radiation therapy equipment to over $3.6 billion by 2015. Much of the future growth in the market depends upon the availability of more effective technologies presenting an opportunity for novel or improved radiation devices.


Disadvantages with the Current Art:

Current radiation devices are costly and involve high absolute levels of radioactivity that require sophisticated shielding to form the desired radiation beam. The beam from the radioactive source is typically large in relation to the area of the target, and must be shielded and/or collimated with optical (or magnetic) lenses to form the desired radiation beam. In addition, many of the current radiation devices cannot function properly under all conditions resulting in constraints on targets that are not practical. Furthermore, the use of radiation therapy requires detailed attention to personnel, equipment, patient and personnel safety, and continuing staff education.


Advantages of Invention:

Researchers at the Georgia Health Sciences University have developed a device (microirradiator) for delivering high dose densities of ionizing radiation (e.g. alpha, beta, and gamma) to small target areas. The device is constructed using a non-radioactive conducting electrode, an insulating sheath, a radioactive source, and a contact electrode (optional). Because of the small size, the absolute radioactivity of the device is very low, corresponding to very high activity density. Thus, the microirradiator is intrinsically safe to the user while delivering localized activity and dose densities achievable only in highly guarded and regulated facilities. In addition, the device does not require additional external shielding and collimating is not necessary to produce a beam. Furthermore, the developed microirradiator uses relatively inexpensive materials and can be fabricated in a cost efficient manner. 

Applications of the developed technology include but are not limited to: radiobiological research, radiation micro-oncology, trace analytical microinstrumentation, and microfabrication engineering. The new concept has been demonstrated on deposition of Ni-63, but could be extended to other sources of beta, positron, gamma and alpha radiation, that can be electrochemically deposited. In most cases the preparation can be optimized using a "cold" isotope, thus further limiting the exposure during the preparation of the tool.


Patent Status: US Pat. Pub. No. 2010/0200771


Inventors: William Dynan, Jiri Janata, Mira Josowicz , Wendy Kuhne, and Jennifer Steeb


Case Number: GHSU 2009-032

Patent Information:
Medical Devices
For Information, Contact:
Augusta University
Jiri Janata
Jennifer Steeb
Miraslawa Josowicz
William Dynan
Wendy Kuhne
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