Bringing to life a doctor’s problem-solving idea

Many breast cancer patients have been suffering unnecessarily—until now. As a radiologist, Dr. David LeBeau witnessed first-hand the challenges with needle localization during biopsies. Occasionally, the wire meant to pinpoint the area of concern was moving between the time of insertion and operation. Some women who were supposed to have had cherry-sized lumps of tissue removed ended up having peach-sized lumps removed. The ultra-thin wire that pinpoints abnormal tissue for surgical removal would often be inadvertently withdrawn or work itself deeper into the breast, causing complications for the patient and surgeon. Dr. LeBeau approached Design Central with a vision: Create a simple and cost-effective device that would secure the wire. The WireFix is now on the market and, most importantly, improving the experience and outcome for patients during a sensitive time.

  • LeBeau Medical
  • Healthcare
  • Product Design
  • Engineering
  • Prototyping

Objective: A more successful biopsy experience for patients and medical teams alike.

Fine-tuning client’s vision equals simplified design

Dr. LeBeau came to Design Central with a rough idea of the WireFix in hand. Our team moved quickly to conceptualize his idea, collaborating closely with him along the way. Early creative conceptualization focused on using a ribbed clasp to hold the wire in place. But as initial stereolithography (or SLA, a form of 3D printing) prototypes revealed new challenges and opportunities, we moved from a design with two living hinges to one with a single hinge—a crucial turning point in the process.

3D models ensure project’s success

Design Central created several 3D models for Dr. LeBeau throughout the project so he and his team could test them in real time to ensure feasibility. These prototypes were also crucial to the FDA compliance process and, ultimately, to validating Dr. LeBeau’s belief that the solution to the wire migration problem was a relatively simple and cost-effective one.

This was my first experience with design and engineering. Design Central was really good about walking me through the process.

Dr. David LeBeau