STTR Phase I: Directional minimally invasive microwave antenna for precise spatial control of thermal ablation

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1819177
Agency Tracking Number: 1819177
Amount: $225,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: BM
Solicitation Number: N/A
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2017
Award Year: 2018
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2018-07-15
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2019-06-30
Small Business Information
3809 Buckeye Cir, Manhattan, KS, 66503
DUNS: 080651207
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Austin Pfannenstiel
 (620) 802-7113
 austin.pfannenstiel@gmail.com
Business Contact
 Austin Pfannenstiel
Phone: (620) 802-7113
Email: austin.pfannenstiel@gmail.com
Research Institution
 Kansas State University
 Punit Prakash
 1601 Vattier Street
Manhattan, KS, 66506
 Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) project include development of a commercial proof-of-concept percutaneous directional microwave ablation (MWA) applicator which may provide medical practitioners a new approach for treating cancer. In clinical use, a directional MWA applicator will facilitate both procedural and technical simplification of MWA treatments, saving time and critical resources in hospitals, and ultimately improve quality of, and access to, cancer treatment for a broad range of patients. The research and development proposed in this project will enhance scientific and technological understanding of miniaturized MWA antennas capable of radiating with directional patterns. Specifically, special materials to reduce required antenna dimension and increase efficiency, and advanced antenna designs to maximize the size of directional ablation zones will be studied during this project. Commercial development of the proposed technical advances could expand their use for the treatment of other medical conditions or for applications in other industries such as wireless communications. This STTR Phase I project will contribute to the creation of technology jobs in Kansas, a region where there are few medical or technology companies. This STTR Phase I project proposes to develop a commercial proof-of-concept directional microwave ablation (MWA) applicator. MWA procedures offer cost-effective, minimally-invasive treatment options for localized tumors and other disease. These treatments are especially important to the large population of cancer patients who are poor candidates for surgery or other physically demanding therapies. However, currently available MWA systems employ applicators with omni-directional radiation patterns, which if not placed precisely may damage critical healthy tissues or result in disease recurrence. A directional MWA applicator can facilitate technical and procedural simplifications which to alleviate these current challenges. We will investigate: (1) alternative materials to shrink antenna cross-section and (2) novel antenna geometries to maximize the size of directional microwave ablation zones. We will employ an approach integrating multiphysics computational models, benchtop experimentation in ex vivo tissue, and experiments in animal models in vivo to design, optimize, and validate our device. Our anticipated technical results are the development of a MWA applicator that provides directional control of radiation pattern that can ablate to depths of greater than 30 mm, creating an ablation volume comparable to current clinical non-directional devices. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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