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COMMERCIALISATION CORNER


So You Want a Sound Diagnosis?


DR. WIM VAN HOEVE IS FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT OF TIDE MICROFLUIDICS AND MANCEF MEMBER


BERND VINKE, MSC, IS BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER OF TIDE MICROFLUIDICS AND MANCEF MEMBER DR. STEVEN WALSH IS DISTINGUISHED AND REGENTS PROFESSOR AT UNM, INSTITUTE PROFESSOR OF ENTREPRENEURIAL RENEWAL OF INDUSTRIAL, UNIVERSITY OF TWENTE AND PAST PRESIDENT OF MANCEF


Contrast ultrasound diagnostic techniques have been used in healthcare for the past few decades. In recent years much more has been asked of the technology to meet the 21st century challenges not only in their traditional diagnostic uses but also for future therapeutic applications. In order to continue to improve the diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities of the medical ultrasound industry new techniques and technologies were required. These had to overcome cavitational affects, increase their ability to create uniform structures and continue to decrease the size of the structure. Companies large and small are starting to respond to these challenges.


Here we look at one of the more unique approaches to these challenges brought by the Dutch firm Tide Microfluidics. It has been able to produce ultra small ultra uniform spherical structures for a variety of industrial settings, with an emphasis on medical applications. These ultra small spherical structures are made with a variety of bubble encapsulation materials. Tide Microfluidics products are protected by a combination of process and product patents that have been embodied in their micro bubble generator equipment. The results of Tide Microfluidics new technologies are bubbles that resonate instead of cavitate, which are created by smaller specifically encapsulated uniform micro spheres which greatly increase diagnostic contrast, speed and efficiency.


Tide Microfluidics products are protected by a combination of process and product patents that have been embodied in their micro bubble generator equipment.


Tide Microfluidics has done this through its patented processes, which focus on multiple encapsulating materials tailored to the selected gas for a specific application. The ability to produce not only the micro spheres but also the micro bubble generating equipment allows the company great latitude and flexibility in application selection. This capability has allowed it to add specific functionality around the micro bubble by including nanoparticles, biomarkers and traditional chemical activation sites such as lipids.


It is this ability that allows Tide Microfluidics great latitude in gas selection and encapsulated surface functionality traits. This allows Tide Microfluidics and indeed the ultrasonic industry to move towards a future based not only on diagnostics but, even more importantly, on therapeutics. This is in line with the doctrine “Detection is not enough” adopted by many industrialised nations in the EU, North and South America, Asia and Australasia as well as developing nations in Africa and other regions in the world to govern healthcare practice. These increased specific functional improvements in ultrasonic techniques allow not only for improved contrast diagnostics but improved ultrasonic therapeutics capability and the monitoring on not only ultrasonic based therapies but other pharmaceutical therapeutics as well. We follow with an example.


>> Continued on page 50 48 | commercial micro manufacturing international Vol 7 No.3


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