Healthcare, perhaps more than any other sector, draws upon the broadest range of our skills: core scientific expertise, engineering know-how, regulatory knowledge and manufacturing capability. We have experience in developing diagnostic and therapeutic devices, active and passive surgical tools and implants, surgical navigation aids, imaging, and robotics.
Conventional ultrasound struggles to consistently image in many cases, for example, RF ablation lesions during the treatment of atrial fibrillation. TTP is developing a catheter-based ultrasound solution that allows the surgeon to consistently see an image during the operation, whether taking a biopsy or using radio frequency energy to ablate tissue.
To add clarity, and differentiate between acoustically similar materials, TTP has developed a novel ultrasound imaging approach. This works by using a secondary frequency and algorithm that add significantly to the ability to visualise.
A picture can be constructed by using a single piezo element to generate and receive the acoustic wave. This picture can be as simple as visualising an ablation lesion with a single point, through to building up a complete 3D picture using a scanning element.
Monitoring RF ablation lesions during conventional cardiac treatments e.g. atrial fibrillation.
Peripheral cardiovascular procedures e.g. visualising plaque and total occlusions.
Monitoring endometrial ablation.
While the demands on these tools and procedure kits are high, the product cost needs to be low. This results in a challenging engineering environment. We met these seemingly conflicting demands when designing the Filshie clip applicator for Femcare-Nikomed.
Used for surgical contraception, the applicator needed to meet the highest performance standards, hit stringent cost targets, and deliver a design that carefully matched the ergonomic needs of the surgeon.
A critical, often underestimated, part of any device development is human factors investigation and design. Insights into user needs and use scenarios can transform a product from being “okay” to use to being the product of choice. It can also eliminate potential user errors.
TTP employs only the best engineers and scientists, and applies the same standards to its human factors specialists. Because of the calibre of our staff and our in-depth human factors investigations, we are able to define design briefs that make sure developments head in the right direction from the outset.
Cost, long-term operation, size and weight all make battery-free wireless sensing an attractive proposition. The technology becomes even more desirable where the device can be embedded in a hermetically sealed package such as titanium. This is exactly what we did for Smith & Nephew: embed our smart sensor in a titanium orthopaedic nail to record strain data so that the bone growth can be monitored.
This battery-free smart sensor operates with an external antenna that allows both the collection of data and the external inductive powering of the smart sensor.
Capable of meeting the tough conditions of operating through the human body and a titanium case, the technology represents a breakthrough in medical implants and offers similar gains in a variety of sensing applications.
Working prototypes were developed in under four months.
Achieving a sensor design small enough to retain the integrity of the titanium nail.
Being able to draw power and transmit data through the hermetic seal of a titanium case.
Creating an encapsulation method appropriate for both sterilisation and long term implantation.
Hopefully these case studies have shown you just a little of what a collaboration with TTP can achieve, from the creation of powerful and ground-breaking new products and solutions, through to their development and manufacture.
We believe it’s a uniquely visionary approach to Medical Devices that can help our partners harness – and commercialise – the power of a great idea.
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