After the initial preclinical experiments began to show promise, Novocure worked to discover how to take the technology behind Tumor Treating Fields from the petri dish to the patient. To deliver the tumor treating electric fields from a generator into the body efficiently, Novocure believed it needed an insulating material with a high dialectic constant for the arrays that adhere to the patient’s body.
Yoram Wasserman, Vice President of Engineering, said the team worked for about two years to find this material, scouring books and the internet, and meeting with many scientists and companies to find a solution. Through a connection within the scientific community, Novocure identified a crystal with the necessary high dialectic constant. However, the crystal was expensive, and it took weeks to produce a small amount.
Through the initial discovery of the crystal, the team learned from the crystal manufacturer that the same high dielectric properties could be manufactured at the fraction of the price using ceramic sintering technology. This same technology is used by Novocure today.
“It was a breakthrough,” Yoram said. “We have done so many things, from finding the ceramic and designing the arrays, to developing the hardware and software for preclinical, clinical and commercial devices. We find creative ways to solve problems all of the time.”
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