How does an innovative idea in cancer detection become reality? UE LifeSciences approached Imaginarium to manufacture the iBreastExam, a device used to detect breast cancer.
The Challenge: To manufacture iBreastExam, a portable medical device used to detect breast cancer.
Technology used: 3D Printing + Vacuum Casting for prototypes and Soft Tooling for production.
Materials: Medical Grade ABS, PC and TPU
Duration: 15 days for Vacuum Casting and 4 weeks for Injection Mouldings Tools.
Innovation in Cancer Detection
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women in India and accounts for 15% of cancer in women. It has a high mortality rate due to the lack of awareness and delay in screening and diagnosis.
UE LifeSciences developed the iBreastExam; a portable, radiation free device used by primary health workers, obstetricians and gynaecologists to identify breast abnormalities in healthy women during a routine health checkup. It enables clinically effective and standardized breast examinations in low-resource setups to detect breast lumps at early stages.
How does one manufacture such a device?
UE LifeSciences initially approached Imaginarium to prototype the device for clinical trials. The prototypes would be used to determine the wear and tear that the device would go through during handling and usage by multiple technicians, doctors, and community health care workers. It would also serve as a sample of the desired aesthetic finish.
The device was split into several parts to make a complete assembly. The outer casings were fabricated in ABS, and had to be aesthetically appealing as well as functional as they held transparent light guides and soft covers for the USB and charging ports. The device was also required to withstand certain radiations and temperatures.
Vacuum Casting was hence selected to roll out the first batch of 40 devices which would give the desired outputs. Transparent, Glossy and Soft rubber parts were casted in the desired colors and the logo was screen printed.
The feedback and results from the initial batch helped change some critical features and the device was ready for production. Being a medical device with not enough volumes, a low volume Injection Moulding Tool was manufactured, which would be good for 50,000 shots enabling us to make the parts in FDA approved materials.
The various components of the iBreastExam
The device houses three electronic components; a rechargeable battery, a printed circuit board, and an array of patented FDA approved clear highly sensitive tactile sensors that vibrate at high speeds.
iBreastExam has a modular design and the components are easily replaceable.
Early detection and mass screening
The final output was assembled and distributed amongst hospitals, doctors, and healthcare workers across 12 countries and they have successfully screened over 2,00,000 women.
To prototype or mass manufacture your device get in touch with our specialists at Imaginarium by email on firstname.lastname@example.org or log on to the Rapid Online Factory to start your project today!
iBreastExam is not intended to replace mammograms, but to offer an additional level of early screening to women for whom mammograms are largely inaccessible due to finances, location, lack of insurance, young age or other factors.