Imaging project offers applications in cancer diagnostics
© C. G. P. Grey

Imaging project offers applications in cancer diagnostics

Innovative medical device contractor ITL Group has partnered with King’s College London (KCL), UK, to develop a groundbreaking cancer imaging project.

The project, funded under the Horizon 2020 scheme, brings together a consortium of 20 companies to take developments in engineering and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and develop Magnetic Resonance Force (MRF) imaging for new applications in cancer diagnostics.

The project aims to address a need in the planning and monitoring of cancer treatment by allowing for the better identification and measurement of cancer tumours.

Re-imagining MRI for new applications could provide a non-invasive way to diagnose and measure cancer tumours. The project will produce three prototypes developed for use on brain, liver and breast cancer patients.

ITL Group will further develop KCL’s initial hardware design and manufacture several prototypes, which will be presented to Harvard Medical School this summer. The hardware is an advanced vibration transducer which functions by measuring interstitial fluid pressure and cell traction forces.

The company has taken the original three vibration transducers through a rigorous development process to improve on the initial concept.

ITL has made significant headway in improving the technology that can guide treatment choices in breast, liver and brain cancer patients – prototypes are set be ready for trials in June 2017.

Project co-ordinator Dan Hollands said: “This has been a very creative project for us and we’ve received great feedback from King’s on our progress – they’ve been impressed by the advances we have made so far, especially considering the short timeframe.”

“We’ve had a lot of freedom to develop the product and push the boundaries with experimentation – being both R&D and manufacturer means we can be more radical with design and test in-house before implementing changes.

“3D printing has played a big part in the development – we’ve been able to design and print parts, then assess, test and redevelop all in a matter of weeks.”