Rock & Lotus, a medical venture spun off from Waseda University, says it has developed a technology to insert a thin needle into a cancer tumor with a high accuracy.
The technology enables a doctor to inject medicine into a tumor while reducing the burden on the patient. The company said it will check the safety of the technology in an animal study, aiming to conduct a clinical test in 2022.
The thin needle is inserted straight into a tumor at a depth of 10-15cm with a margin of error of less than 1mm. By slightly vibrating a needle while rotating it, it becomes possible to reduce friction with flesh and, therefore, insert a needle in a straight line.
Currently, a doctor inserts a needle, relying on the sensation of fingertips, while preventing the needle from being bent. Depending on the expertise of a doctor, it becomes necessary to insert a needle several times.
The horizontal rotation of a needle is realized by a stepping motor, and the rotation speed is several hertz. For the vertical vibration, whose speed seems to be several tens of hertz, a piezoelectric actuator is used.
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