“A lot of biopsies aren’t adequate from a diagnostic and technical perspective. For instance, the surgeons often want to know how deep a tumour grows, and we can’t answer that question very often”, Dr Walther explains.
Medical professionals have seen the need for taking biopsies of deeper situated tumours, specific subtypes of submucosal tumours as well as bigger biopsies of more common lesions. In combination with an increase of endoscopic examinations in the stomach, lungs, respiratory tract, and colon, to name a few, the need for such an instrument is growing.
The principle of the Endodrill sounds simple: during an endoscopy, you drill into the lesion, and a cylinder slides over it, trapping the tumour – leaving you with an oriented and hopefully representative tumour sample. The technical challenges that needed to be overcome were huge, however, as the instrument needed to be very small. With a fully functional prototype in place at last, Dr Walther hopes to start human trials soon, but there has already been interest shown in the product.
The global market for flexible endoscopic biopsy instruments is expected to double within five years due to increasing demand for early cancer diagnoses, and has an annual turnover of around one billion USD. It is dominated by large global medical device companies such as Boston Scientific, Olympus and Cook Medical. (Transparency Marked Research 2013)
Dr Charles Walther
Sven Olsson, LUIS (Lund University Innovation System)
+46 46 2221278