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World’s Smallest Laser Probe for Brain Procedures Facilitates Ablation of Full Range of Targets

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 08 May 2024

A new probe enhances the ablation capabilities for a broad spectrum of oncology and epilepsy targets, including pediatric applications, by incorporating advanced laser and cooling technologies to support a variety of ablation sizes and trajectory lengths.

Monteris Medical (Minnetonka, MN, USA) has announced the commercial availability of the NeuroBlate NB3 FullFire 1.6mm laser probe, the newest addition to its product lineup for the NeuroBlate System. This system, a minimally invasive robotically controlled laser thermotherapy device, uses MRI-guided laser light to precisely ablate unwanted brain tissue directly at the source of the lesion. The procedure requires only a small skull opening, roughly the diameter of a pencil, instead of a large cranial incision. During the operation, performed inside an MRI scanner, surgeons navigate the NB3 laser probe through this opening directly into the lesion, where it emits laser energy that heats and subsequently destroys the affected tissue.

Image: NeuroBlate NB3 FullFire 1.6mm laser probe is meant for use with the NeuroBlate System (Photo courtesy of Monteris Medical)
Image: NeuroBlate NB3 FullFire 1.6mm laser probe is meant for use with the NeuroBlate System (Photo courtesy of Monteris Medical)

The NB3 laser probe incorporates the NeuroBlate System’s patented cooling technology and the latest in laser fiber advancements, making it the smallest laser probe available for brain applications. This probe is offered in a single adjustable length, which maintains Monteris’ capability of supporting multiple trajectories in a single procedure and adds operational ease for neurosurgeons. Moreover, the NB3 probe offers hospitals economic benefits and simplifies inventory management by consolidating needs into a single product. It can operate at variable power settings, from six to 12 watts, allowing for precise control over ablation size, with some clinicians noting reduced ablation times.

The NB3 laser probe obtained FDA 510(k) clearance in December 2023 and has been in limited market release since February 2024 at leading U.S. medical institutions. During this initial launch phase, surgeons have utilized the probe for a wide range of clinical applications, including treating primary tumors, progressive metastatic lesions, radiation necrosis, and epileptogenic foci in both adults and children. The size of lesions treated with the probe during its market introduction varied from under 10mm to nearly 30mm in diameter, encompassing both deep-seated targets and multiple trajectory procedures.

“We are thrilled to bring the highly anticipated NB3 laser probe to our neurosurgeons and hospital system customers for use across a broad spectrum of patient needs, including the pediatric LITT population,” said Martin J. Emerson, president and chief executive officer of Monteris. “NB3, used in combination with Monteris’ best-in-class NeuroBlate software and robotics, provides our neurosurgeon users the precision and flexibility they demand for their patients. We expect the forward-thinking engineering incorporated into NB3 will become the platform for our future probe designs. In addition, our near-term cadence of new software releases will put even greater options in the hands of our neurosurgeon customers.”


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