XJet has announced its NanoParticle Jetting process is being used to print cryotherapy probe components for the treatment of breast cancer and to develop antenna technology for the 5G network.
Marvel Medtech, a North American start-up, is deploying a Carmel 1400 platform to produce ceramic cryotherapy probes, which are used in a new robotic guidance systems which works to freeze and destroy breast cancer tumours, preventing them from growing further. The University of Delaware, meanwhile, has installed a Carmel 1400 machine to help develop its ‘Passive Beam Steering’ antenna technology for the 5G network, among other applications.
The robotic guidance system being developed by Marvel Medtech is to be used during MRI scans in clinics across the United States. Marvel Medtech believe its scanner accessory will be vital for the early elimination of tumours, eliminating the need for future surgeries that can be both expensive and invasive, and ultimately save lives and reduce cost for healthcare centres. The company also hopes the new procedure will kick-start the body’s anti-cancer immune response to prevent future reoccurrence of cancer tumours.
“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,” commented Ray Harter, President, Marvel Medtech. “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.
“But in making this system a reality, we were missing a vital piece of the puzzle. 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.”
“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,” added Dror Danai, XJet CBO. “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.”
Meanwhile, the University of Delaware’s antenna application is said to be small, lightweight, and cost-effective enough to receive 5G signals. 5G signals deliver data up to 20 times faster than 3G and 4G and are generally more sensitive to objects and interference. It is deemed too expensive to scale up existing antenna technologies to process 5G signals, and when working to develop its Passive Beam Steering technology, the University of Delaware had trouble finding a manufacturing process or material properties to produce the complex lens structure.
The university then came across XJet and began a research project using the Carmel 1400 platform owned by Youngstown Business Incubator and operated by Youngstown State University (YSU). The results suggested the density, isotropic properties, dielectric constant, were right for the Univeristy of Delaware, and the organisation has moved to install a machine themselves.
“NPJ is the only process capable of producing the inner walls of each channel with the accuracy and smoothness required to retain wave direction – but in ceramic,” said Mark Mirotznik, professor of Electrical Engineering, Univeristy of Delaware. “XJet’s ceramic is an isotropic, 100 percent density ceramic with the right dielectric constant, which does not ‘absorb’ and weaken signal. Quite literally, any tiny variation in tolerance could lead to diversion of the signal to the wrong place, and that couldn’t be afforded.”
“We carried out research to establish the nature and properties of XJet printed Zirconia. This suggested the crystal structure of the prints are nearly even; the dielectric constant is high while the loss tangent is low and are both similar to the value expected from a non-printed crystal. This high dielectric constant with low loss opens the potential for 3D printing of a variety of microwave devices including antennas, lenses, and filters. Two simple dielectric resonator antennas were demonstrated with the material, showing that the measured material properties can indeed be used for accurate design of such devices with electromagnetic simulation tools,” added Professor Eric MacDonald, Friedman Chair for Manufacturing, YSU.
“The University of Delaware’s application of NanoParticle Jetting technology for antennas is truly pioneering. 5G is expected to bring about a true revolution in wireless technology, and with it the connectivity to support everything from autonomous vehicles and smart cities, to long-distance surgery, live-streaming virtual reality and the prospect of a limitless ‘Internet of Things’,” offered XJet CEO, Hanan Gothait.”Clearly, to achieve that, the technology must be extraordinarily reliable, and we believe NPJ is ideally placed to deliver it. 5G antennas will need to be produced in the millions to deploy a successful, fully functioning 5G global network. – and millions is exactly the kind of productivity this system has been designed for.”