About Elucent Medical:
Elucent Medical is a woman-owned, venture-backed medical device company in Edina, Minnesota. Developing and commercializing a tool they call the “Elucent Solution,” their product enables surgeons to efficiently and painlessly locate cancerous lesions.
Traditionally a lumpectomy – breast tumor removal- is a challenging and uncomfortable procedure, involving breast compression and a tool called a hook wire, which is as scary as it sounds.
“Our product eliminates the need for this sort of barbaric procedure,” said Jay Johnson, Elucent Medical’s VP of R&D. “We allow surgeons to get right to where the tumor is without the painful pre-operative localization.”
Elucent’s EnVisio™ Detection System and SmartClip™ Technology includes a piece that’s about the size of a grain of rice. This piece is implanted at the time of the biopsy, in or around the tumor and is “awakened” by electromagnetic coils, making it “sing.” A second device attached to the surgical cutting tool picks up the signal and can then direct the surgeon from where they’re cutting to where the tumor is.
Kassandra Klinkhammer, an electrical engineer at Elucent said, “Our lead surgeon’s tagline is, ‘if Google can see my drive way, why can’t I see cancer?’”
Helping Elucent on its quest are SciTech interns Sehee Sun and Ben Nichols. Sun assisted the Elucent engineers as they worked to reduce signal disturbance, or “cross-talk” with the device while Nichols primarily worked on thermal mitigation.
“Interns bring a tremendous value to organizations like ours. We try to get them on a project that both provides value to us as a business and also to them as they develop and figure out where they want to go in their careers. I find it really enjoyable and inspiring to have them as a part of our team.” Johnson said.
About the interns:
Sehee Sun is a senior at Minnesota State University Mankato studying electrical engineering. Since she was young, she said, she knew two things for sure: that she wanted to be an engineer like her parents, and she wanted to work with the human body. Her Elucent Medical internship allowed her to do both.
Ben Nichols is working toward his second undergrad degree at the University of Minnesota. Originally pursuing elementary education, Nichols made the change to material science engineer.
“As I have grown to know myself better and gained life experiences, the field of engineering has aligned more with my natural abilities as well as future goals,” Nichols said. “I desire to be a problem solver, a critical thinker, and to be able to watch my work shape into something that I have envisioned.”
Small Minnesota companies receive up to $2,500 to help pay a STEM intern. At least 350 wage matches are available through the end of 2019.