Israeli additive manufacturing XJet Ltd. has announced the sale of an XJet Carmel 1400 3D printer to Marvel Medtech, a North American startup specializing in preventative breast cancer treatments. The NanoParticle Jetting 3D printer will be used by the startup to print a ceramic cryotherapy probe for Marvel Medtech’s innovative robotic intervention guidance system.
The system developed by Marvel Medtech is designed to freeze and destroy small but dangerous breast cancer tumours to prevent them from growing and spreading. The intervention guidance system is to be used during MRI scans in clinics across the U.S., marking a step ahead in breast cancer prevention.
The system, effectively an MRI accessory, offers a solution for early elimination of tumors and reduces the need to invasive biopsies and surgical procedures down the line. The breakthrough technology has the potential to save lives, drastically enhance patient care and reduce medical costs. The robotic intervention guidance system could also help to “kick-start” patients’ anti-cancer immune response, curbing the chance of any recurring tumors.
Ray Harter, President of Marvel Medtech, said of the system: “Our new approach preempts the need for many biopsies, surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy treatments. Obviously, the expectation is that it’s likely to save many lives, but it will also dramatically improve the quality of life for patients. In addition, we also know that by eradicating those procedures, it will also reduce overall healthcare costs. And these are not insignificant savings – annually, these could be in the many billions of dollars.”
Though the system itself offers something of a simple solution, the development process for the technology was not quite as straightforward. Because the system operates during an MRI scan, the components in the guidance system had to meet the strict requirements of MRI scanners for safety and image quality purposes. As electrical insulators, 3D printed ceramics were a way forward.
“In making this system a reality, we were missing a vital piece of the puzzle,” Harter added. “The tools used inside an MRI scanner must be compatible with strict safety guidelines, and crucially, not disrupt image quality. Because they are one of the most electrically insulating materials, ceramics are an ideal material to achieve this. However, we were unable to find a ceramic-based 3D printer able to accurately and cost effectively produce our ceramic probe. This is why we are adopting XJet’s Carmel 1400 solution.”
The Carmel 1400 system is a unique binder jetting printer that is capable of building metal and ceramic parts using XJet’s NPJ process. Notably, the machine boasts one of the industry’s largest build trays, allowing for large or multiple parts in the same bed. In Marvel Medtech’s case, the system is being used to produce a ceramic cryotherapy probe for the breast cancer prevention system.
“With over 500,000 women dying from breast cancer every year, and with 40,000 of those in the USA alone, Marvel Medtech’s solution has truly transformative potential in the healthcare industry,” said Dror Danai, CBO of XJet. “We were delighted to offer the Carmel 1400 in solving their production issues, and we are very proud to play our part in bringing this life-saving technology to market.
“This application is a great example of how our unique ceramic 3D printing technology can enable manufacturers to overcome the limitations of traditional ceramic production. Indeed, we believe that XJet NPJ opens the door for the invention and production of many new products and tools to answer some of mankind’s biggest challenges, and we’re excited to see how it will impact our lives in the future.”