Researchers develop smartglasses that help surgeons see cancerous cells
If you think cancer removal surgery is but a one-time procedure, you’d be wrong. Doctors don’t always cut out all affected tissues in one go, but a new pair of high-tech eyewear could help make that happen. The device, developed by a Washington University research team led by Samuel Achilefu, can make cancer cells perfectly visible to surgeons as they operate. It’s loaded with custom software that makes cancerous cells glow blue (due to a molecular imaging agent that gives it color) to anyone wearing the headset — surgeons can then clearly distinguish affected tissues from their healthy counterparts and excise them all. Achilefu and his colleagues are hoping the device eventually eliminates the need for follow-up surgeries.
A Washington U doctor used the technology for the first time on an actual surgery yesterday, February 10th, but it still needs to be tested and developed further before we can count it as a surefire weapon against the disease. If and when the medical eyewear becomes available, though, it will make a great companion to that smart knife that sniffs out cancer as you cut that’s already being used in the UK.