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High-power piezoelectric material may allow novel MIS procedures

Article-High-power piezoelectric material may allow novel MIS procedures

Originally Published MPMN March 2003


High-power piezoelectric material may allow novel MIS procedures
Piezoelectric arrays from Piezo Technologies fold into cylinders with diameters as small as 8 mm.

An advanced piezoelectric material being developed by Piezo Technologies (Indianapolis; may soon allow physicians to treat a variety of new maladies using minimally invasive techniques. Suited for generating and focusing high-intensity ultrasound waves, this material will be formed into collapsible arrays for insertion using transarterial catheters, laparoscopes, and transesophageal devices. Once inserted inside the body, the arrays unfold and can ablate diseased tissues or provide real-time imaging data for treating Barrett's esophagus, liver tumors, cardiac arrhythmia, and pancreatic, liver, and bladder cancer.

While similar devices have already found use on larger transrectal catheters, the piezoelectric arrays being developed by Piezo Technologies are unique because they generate a greater power output per unit of area. "The devices used for minimally invasive surgery do the same job as traditional devices, so they have the same power requirements," explains chief technology officer Mike Phillips. "But since they're smaller, they have to generate more power per square millimeter to attain an equivalent output. Our arrays fold into cylinders with diameters as small as 8 mm, so the material they're made from needs to be four to five times as powerful as the state-of-the-art piezoelectric materials currently on the market," he adds.

Piezo Technologies hopes to commercialize the first of these piezoelectric arrays within 3 years. To help them to achieve this goal, the company has received a grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (Gaithersburg, MD; Awarded for the maximum amount, this grant is intended to fund high-risk research and development projects that promise significant commercial payback and widespread national benefits. Other possible uses for the material include sensors, actuators, and other industrial products.

Norbert Sparrow, Susan Wallace, and Zachary Turke

Copyright ©2003 Medical Product Manufacturing News

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