Unique, patented technology

Prior to surgery, it is very difficult today to determine if rectal cancer has spread to the lymph nodes. The spread is not verified until the surgical preparate has been examined microscopally. 

The five-year survival rate for persons suffering from rectal cancer is currently no more than 67 percent. Our system aims to fill the void in the current care, and we have thus developed a novel medical imaging method based on magnetomotive ultrasound. 

Among other things, we want to enable more patients to get local surgery instead of extensive, unnecessary and dangerous surgery.

Our innovation comprises the combination of nanotechnology with modern ultrasound technology. We combine a magnetic field with diagnostic ultrasound in an entirely new way. As such, we can bring the inherently cost-efficient ultrasound technology into completely new application areas. Our primary focus is on rectal cancer and the mapping of cancer spread to nearby lymph nodes. The spread of cancer to nearby lymph nodes is an important marker for the cancer’s progression. It is also essential to be able to design a personalized treatment.

The stand-alone, portable system comprises a hand-held probe, an ultrasound scanner and a software that controls the system and generates the imaging signal, which we call NanoTrace®. 

Development is conducted together with reputable development companies, in well-defined stages with clear deliverables. This optimizes the possibility of efficiently developing a commercial product for the market. 

How does it work?

The technology utilizes iron-oxide-based nanoparticles as a contrast agent to clearly indicate lymph nodes close to the tumour and provide an indication of whether they contain metastases. By means of an alternating magnetic field, generated within the hand-held probe, the particles are set in motion. A vibration signal appears in the tissue where particles are present. The signal is detected with ultrasound and processed by the software, which filters, enhances and then visualizes the image-generating NanoTrace® signal.

Advantages of the technology

Five times better image resolution than MRI

Clear differentiation between diseased and healthy tissue

Portable and simpler than MRI

Can be used bedside in hospitals

Clinical trial

Our pre-clinical trial on surgically removed tissue, with the first generation of the company’s portable system, will be conducted at Sahlgrenska University Hospital and Östra Sjukhuset in Gothenburg, Sweden. The clinical trial will commence as soon as the existing COVID-19 restrictions in healthcare are lifted.

The clinical trial will be led by Eva Angenete, Chief Physician and Professor of rectal surgery at Sahlgrenska University Hospital.
 
The aim of the trial is to ensure that the system is effective in readily mapping the spread of cancer to nearby lymph nodes. The trial will compare the results of our diagnostic method with MRI and pathology. We will continue to optimize and further adapt the portable system for future commercialization, based, among other things, on the trial results.

Photo: Sahlgrenska University Hospital

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