‘Intelligent’ Knife Knows Tumor from Tissue

KnifeA new kind of surgical knife can tell cancerous from healthy tissue in seconds and may help improve tumor removal in the operating room, according to research published Wednesday.

Known as the iKnife, the tool analyzes the vapor given off as surgeons use electrical current to cut away tissue — and it reports in real time whether the tissue is cancerous or not. Tests in 91 human patients have shown the “tool’s diagnoses were extremely accurate,” and may be “reliable enough to begin widespread use in operating rooms,” said the study in the US journal Science Translational Medicine.

The iKnife uses mass spectrometry to examine the surgical smoke given off by evaporating tissue, alerting the surgeon in three seconds as to what it contains.

Other current techniques — which include sending removed tissue to a pathology lab for analysis — are “costly…frequently inadequate,” and take about 20 to 30 minutes, said the researchers from Hungary and Britain.”Remarkably, there are almost no technologies in routine clinical practice to assist the surgeon in improving the accuracy of cancer tissue clearance,” said the study.

source : http://news.discovery.com/tech/biotechnology/intelligent-knife-knows-tumor-130718.htm





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