Microwave ablation - Overview
One promising new method for treating cancer tumours and metastases is microwave (MW) or radio frequency (RF) ablation. These minimally or non-invasive procedures enable work to be carried out in areas which are difficult to access, where treatment with conventional methods is only possible with serious side-effects. The savings resulting from shorter recovery times lead to increasing acceptance of these treatment methods in healthcare circles.
The generator supplies the microwave energy. An integral controller allows the power, treatment time and temperature to be controlled. The device is used in the vicinity of the patient and must therefore meet high the safety requirements that apply in human medicine. An integral DC/DC block provides protection from high voltage. At the same time, sensors monitor the temperature and radio frequency power level. The robust radio frequency connectors on the device are designed for frequent connection cycles and ensure that the generator has a long service life.
The transmission cable must be robust and mobile and is therefore strengthened with specially developed reinforcements. At the same time, the microwaves must be transferred from the generator to the antenna in the applicator with minimal energy loss. The cables are therefore strengthened with special reinforcements to make them crush-resistant. The materials used in the cable are also selected to meet the requirements for medical use, above all for sterilisation. Properties such as coolability and the diameter of the transmission cable likewise play a major role in the cable selection process.
HUBER+SUHNER develops all equipment together with the customer or supplies individual components for the applicator (also known as the probe or disposable element). Thanks to its long experience in microwave technology, HUBER+SUHNER is capable of manufacturing thin cables which result in extremely low losses while also allowing cooling in or around the cable using a variety of media. The use of special connector solutions can also satisfy the demand for flexibility while maintaining the form stability of the supply cable to the antenna. This makes the applicator simple and highly ergonomic to handle.