A Prairie Village product design firm is helping a nearby Kansas startup advance groundbreaking medical technology to treat previously-inoperable cancer tumors with minimally-invasive surgery.
“Most of us have been affected by cancer through family, friends or our own experience, and we are delighted to help Precision Microwave create better tools to fight cancer,” said Chris Justice, principal at Engenious Design, a Kansas City-metro company specializing in electronic medical device design.
The teams at Engenious and Manhattan-based Precision Microwave have developed a new system for minimally-invasive thermal ablation treatment of cancers, a novel treatment tool with ability to reduce the risk of unintended injury to vital structures near tumors, the companies said in a press release.
Thermal ablation is a type of procedure that uses heat, cold, microwave and electrical currents to vaporize (ablate) cancer cells and tumors.
The new technology complements existing options for thermal ablation and greatly expands the tools available to surgeons that address challenging cases and broaden the range of cases that could be safely and effectively treated.
“Precision Microwave’s technology is truly innovative and works to provide more precise control to surgeons; control that allows targeting of cancers and preservation of adjacent vital structures,” Justice said. “The Precision Microwave team has developed technology that is a game-changer in cancer therapy and we are excited to partner and bring this technology to market quickly.”
Since its founding in 2013 by spouses Chris and Holly Justice, the Engenious Design team has grown from 2 to more than 40 team members — with expertise and capabilities including an on-site electronics lab, quick-turn model shop, and short-run production capabilities with a full medical device quality management system.
Click here to learn more about Engenious Design.
“Engenious Design has been the perfect partner for a small, startup medical device company like us,” said Austin Pfannenstiel, founder and CEO of Precision Microwave, emphasizing understanding of startup constraints and demands to maximize value. “I have been consistently impressed by their team’s tremendous depth of knowledge and experience spanning technical and industrial design, clinical insight, and regulatory considerations, which has enabled us to stay focused on leveraging our own strengths while making significant progress towards commercialization.”
Precision Microwave’s system was recently granted a key patent protecting the unique, directional ablation technology. Its regulatory strategy also employs a faster and lower-risk path to FDA clearance by leveraging predicate devices, the company said. Precision Microwave has already received $1.2 million in grant funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), and are working to close additional funds to pursue FDA clearance and commercialization.
Pfannenstiel’s R&D experience includes more than 6 years developing novel microwave technologies for precise, image-guided thermal ablation of cancer and he is a co-author on one granted patent and three patent applications in the field.
He also spent seven years in the US Navy as a submarine officer and nuclear power instructor and continues to serve in the US Navy Reserve.
Precision Microwave maintains close collaborative relationships with a network of physicians specialized in thermal ablation procedures as well as the Kansas State University Colleges of Engineering and Veterinary Medicine, the company said.
Click here to learn more about Precision Microwave.