Current radiotherapy techniques can cause damage to healthy cells

Brachytherapy (BT) is a form of radiotherapy (RT) that uses specially designed needles to deliver radioactive isotopes inside the patient directly into a cancerous tumor. Although RT effectively kills cancer, it can cause damage to healthy tissues with significant treatment-related morbidity. BT also has various complications, including infection, cellulitis, seroma and hematoma.

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology are developing a new surgical device that helps to more accurately deliver BT to a tumor (e.g., prostate cancer) without damaging healthy cells. The technology has the potential to improve the efficacy and safety of BT and enhance survival and quality of life.

A flexible sensing sheath improves the delivery of radiotherapy, potentially reducing morbidity

This invention is a flexible and steerable sheath that can be used to insert devices (e.g., needles) into the body directly to specific tissues and tumors. The end of the sheath (stylet) has a sensor that obtains data to help control the device's motion through the body. A secondary device can be introduced to deliver therapeutics and/or collect diagnostics.

Solution Advantages
  • It can be viewed by MRI and/or ultrasound imaging
  • It may reduce complications (puncture, bleeding, etc.) by allowing blunt needs to deliver therapeutics
  • Ability to place non-steerable devices and other structures in a configuration
  • Allows for flexibility and sensors to navigate through the body to deliver therapeutics or diagnostics
Potential Commercial Applications
  • BT Seeds; Brachytherapy; HDR BT needles
  • Radiation Therapy (RT); Prostate Cancer
  • Search and Rescue
  • Industrial Tools