MEI Technology & Products
Haemmerich, Dieter et al; 2008 May 6. Electrode Array for Tissue Ablation. United States patent US 7,367,974.
Webster, John G. et al; 2009, Feb. 5. Circumferential Electrode Array for Tissue Ablation. United States patent pending 20090036882
MEI’s patented technology was developed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW) and has been benchmark tested in animal studies against current technology. Based upon the results of testing, this platform is intended to offer improvements for reliable coagulation of tissues and blood vessels up to 5mm in diameter, and associated improvements for ease of use. These tools are designed to require only a single application of 3 to 6 minutes, which may reduce surgical time, resulting in a more cost-effective procedure and better patient outcomes.
The MEI SwiftBlade™ System
The SwiftBlade™ system consists of a bipolar RF generator energy source (SwiftBlade™-RFG) and a procedure-specific disposable blade set. The RF generator package includes switching electronics and the proprietary algorithm that monitors the electrical impedance of the tissue in order to provide feedback to the control and switching electronics, resulting in fast, uniform ablation zone and automatic power interruption upon completion of the procedure. The blade set choices include a linear array for resecting across the liver and various diameter circumferential arrays for ablation of localized tumors.
It is anticipated that this differentiated platform could be used by surgical oncologists and general surgeons for the treatment of liver cancer. Read what surgeons are saying about MEI SwiftBladeTM technology.
Design goals are to provide:
- Coagulation of blood vessels up to 5mm
- Uniform ablation zone independent of tissue thickness
- Bipolar operation (no possibility of external skin burns from a ground pad)
- No charring of tissue adjacent to the electrodes
- Simple, automatic operation
- Complete ablation/coagulation in 3-6 minutes
- Blade-shaped electrodes, which results in more uniform and higher tissue temperatures than needles, without charring tissue
- Single application for complete resection or tumor ablation reduces surgical time
MEI’s SwiftBlade™ technology, developed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW), has been tested in live porcine models against current technology. Based upon the results of testing, this platform could offer an improved approach versus current therapy.
SwiftBlade™-R Resection – Linear Array: MEI is developing liver resection (i.e. surgical removal of organ tissue) devices that are intended to provide tissue coagulation and sealing of blood vessels up to 5mm within 3 to 6 minutes, resulting in minimal blood loss. Currently, reliable coagulation of large vessels is difficult to achieve without requiring additional techniques. The SwiftBlade™-R however, can coagulate 5mm diameter blood vessels across the entire array simultaneously. Subsequent to coagulation, the tissue could be resected using standard surgical techniques with virtually no blood loss.
Cross-sectional views of computer simulations (below) comparing the temperature distribution using conventional technology (needles in left image, shown in white) to MEI SwiftBlade™ technology (blades in right image, shown in white).
As a courtesy to non-medical visitors to our site, we are displaying surgical images using SwiftBlade™-R separately from technical information. View surgical images.
SwiftBlade™-A Ablation – Circumferential Array: MEI Ablation technology is a circumferential array of blade-shaped electrodes that is intended to provide uniform heating of the surrounded tissue, independent of tissue thickness. The ablation device would surround the tumor and uniformly heat the tissue, which destroys it by coagulation necrosis. Studies have shown that this device could achieve the uniform, high temperatures required for this process in only 3 to 6 minutes, depending on the tumor size and volume of the ablation zone.
Below is a temperature profile of a 6-blade electrode array (on the left), and a commercial needle electrode (on the right). Blade electrodes are 1 cm wide and 5 cm apart. The 50 degree C boundary estimates the boundary of the ablation zone. Note the much higher, more uniform tissue temperatures with the circumferential array after an application time of 3 min. Images are drawn to scale.
As a courtesy to non-medical visitors to our site, we are displaying surgical images using SwiftBlade™-A separately from technical information. View surgical images.