Video: Intelligent knife brings tumour surgery into 21 Century

Engineering & Technology magazine

Intelligent knife brings tumour surgery into 21 Century

iKnife developed and tested by the Imperial College London researchers enables real-time tissue analysis during cancer surgeries.

Until today, surgeons have had to rely on visual clues or previously taken scanns and images to distinguish healthy tissue from cancerous. The difference is frequently impossible to tell without histological testing, which takes at least 30 minutes. During this time, surgeons have to wait with the patient opened in the operating theatre and only get results with limited reliability as the histologists are forced to rush and can only analyse a limited number of samples.

Hungarian scientists Zoltan Takats decided that the time has come for some major improvement. By combining mass spectroscopy – an extremely accurate and swift method of chemical analyses – with electrosurgery, he created a tool surgeons have been waiting for for decades.

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