It feels good to develop drug delivery devices that help people as they go about their everyday lives. However, despite the ingenuity within them and their therapeutic benefits, it can be easy to take such products for granted, especially when they are well-designed. Sometimes, though, we get to work on something unmistakably special.
This product’s unremarkable exterior belies the numerous substantial challenges faced during its development, even more so than the exterior of a typical injector or inhaler. However, compared with the available alternatives, the product offers considerable benefits to people with cancer, not to mention their surgeons. It is one of the most satisfying projects that we have had the pleasure to have been involved in.
How do you create a slim, easily manipulated probe, when the laws of physics that say that the required sensitivity would normally necessitate a large diameter?
Fortunately, physics doesn’t rule out a slim probe altogether; it just makes it almost impossible. Even the thermal expansion that the probe undergoes when the surgeon holds it would ordinarily be enough to render it useless.
A complex web of enabling factors
It was only with an intricate balance of competing considerations, the application of leading-edge technologies, and the involvement of several world-class suppliers, that it was possible to work through all the challenges to develop a sensitive, yet robust, product.
Each item in this cloud was critical to the success of the development.
“Producing a slimmer probe came with significant design challenges, as reducing the probe diameter generally reduces sensitivity, but Coalesce’s creativity and engineering expertise helped us to exceed our design brief. Not only did we achieve the target dimensions, we actually improved sensitivity and surgical performance while maintaining the simplicity for which the SentiMag® instrument is known.”
Dr Quentin Harmer, Endomagnetics CTO.
The last word goes to Dr Peter Laitenberger of Special Agent, who both managed and worked on the project, developing a critical algorithm along the way:
“We are all particularly proud of this collaboration, having overcome challenge after challenge in order to bring the product to fruition. The benefits to health authorities are clear, but it’s what it means to cancer patients that makes it all the more satisfying.”