Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer-related death among women. Our Collaborators in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics are using a chicken model of ovarian cancer to study how the disease progresses.
Chickens have a high prevalence of ovarian cancer, but it is not easy to monitor the animals for the presence and status of the disease. Currently, a veterinary surgeon must make an incision and insert an endoscope into the animal to view its ovaries and determine the presence and state of the disease. Obviously, these repeated surgical procedures are not ideal. Therefore we have been tasked with designing a device that can be implanted into the animals that will permit endoscopic access to the ovaries, while preventing infection.
Our first design was intended to be 3d printed out of a flexible material. After several design iterations, we implanted prototypes.
The 3d printed material ultimately failed to provide the appropriate mechanical properties, so we designed a new device made entirely out of medical grade silicone.
The current device is being evaluated in several animals.