PM.20.027 – Cryosurgery tool with in-built multi-functional cooling capabilities

Route: Personalised medicine: the individual at the centre

Cluster question: 104 How do we develop minimally invasive techniques and interventions for diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment?

Cryoablation is a medical procedure of destroying a tumor tissue by the use of low temperature. Advances in cryobiology has shown that cell temperature of -40 degrees C or lower result in complete destruction of cancerous tissue. The advantages of this procedure are: (1) cryo-mapping capability, (2) out-patient treatment with local anesthesia and a one-day recovery period instead of a hospital stay and a 6-week recovery period with other procedures, (3) not susceptible to forming blood clots. In existing cryoablation needle technology, a high pressure working medium (mostly argon) is expanded through a restriction to a low pressure to produce cooling. The restriction is located at the tip of the needle. A counter flow heat exchanger may be included to improve the efficiency of the cooling. A typical cycle is 5-10 minute rapid cooling and 5 minute slow heating (expansion of high pressure helium produces heating due to inversion temperature). Large amounts of heat (often 10s of watts) need to be removed at the needle tip in order to freeze a large enough region at a fast enough rate to provide well-defined regions of tissue destruction. These requirements lead to high heat flux densities and microscale geometries inside the needle to provide high surface areas for heat transfer. We propose an innovative cooling technology that will substantially increase the cooling rate, that will not require complicated precision machining, and all this without increasing the size of the needle. Moreover, with our technology the needle temperature and cooling can be tuned to the surgical requirements. Combined this, with advanced medical imaging methods and clinical testing, we set to revolutionize the cryosurgery procedure. We will develop a reliable, effective and affordable minimally invasive cryosurgery device.


cryoablation, cryogenics, cryosurgery, minimally invasive medical device

Other organisations

Convergence B.V., Fraunhofer Project Center Twente, Radboud Medical Center (RUMC)


Organisation University of Twente (UT)
Name Dr. S. (Srinivas) Vanapalli