BMTH Round: Third
Project Title: A smart brain biopsy needle for faster, safer neurosurgery
Miniprobes is developing a smart biopsy needle that can see where it is going and tell the brain surgeon when it is in a cancer.
Brain tumours are the leading cause of cancer-related death in children and have one of the largest disease burdens across all ages because of the high fatality rate. Needle biopsies are a standard part of diagnosis, and over 37,000 brain biopsies are performed each year in the USA and Europe.
They are developing a needle that contains a tiny fibre-optic camera that can detect fluorescence. Miniprobes are combining this with a standard clinical drug, Gliolan, which causes brain tumours to fluoresce. Together, they create a smart biopsy needle that can detect when it is correctly positioned within a tumour.
This device has the potential to make brain surgery both safer and faster, shortening surgery by 30 minutes and saving $5,000 per surgery.
Miniprobes’ vision is to become the dominant medical manufacturer of fluorescence-guided surgical tools. Small, high-value products such as this are ideal for manufacture in Australia for export to the world.
Visit Miniprobes for more information.
Project Partners: The University of Adelaide, Royal Adelaide Hospital, Specialised Therapeutics & KD&A
Contact: Dr Robert McLaughlin