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Advances in ultrasound, radiofrequency, and water jet systems are facilitating their increased use in new medical ablation or cutting applications in fields as diverse as cardiology, orthopaedics, ophthalmology, dermatology, oncology and neurosurgery. These methods involve controlled alteration or destruction of tissues via the application of thermal, electrical or kinetic energy. This market segment is characterised by advanced devices capable of heating or cooling tissue from -200°C to 400°C, or inducing vibrations of up to 60 kHz to cause tissue damage. The medical conditions targeted primarily pertain to chronic and age-related diseases, but elective and cosmetic procedures are also addressed. Medical ablation research has the potential for significant clinical and commercial gains. New capabilities in terms of tissue ablation technologies can enable new medical procedures, affording opportunities for design creativity and entrepreneurship and ultimately delivering a health dividend.
McGuinness, G. er al. (2011) Surgical Cutting and Ablation by Energy Based Devices: Principles and Applications. International Conference on Advanced Manufacturing Systems and Technology, Mali Losinj, Croatia, 16-17 June.