iKnife helps surgeons find cancer

” An intelligent surgical knife is helping surgeons identify cancer instantly. It is hoped that the knife will reduce the necessity for multiple cancer surgeries by diagnosing unhealthy tissue the first time around.

Typically in cancers involving solid tumors, surgeons remove a margin of healthy tissue along with the tumor. It has been difficult to determine whether the healthy tissue is cancerous without testing and, in some cases, secondary surgery. It is estimated that one in five breast cancer surgeries require a second surgery to remove all of the cancer, reports the Imperial College London.

Takats based his iKnife on present-day electrosurgery, which uses knives that heat tissue with an electrical current. The iKnife analyzes the smoke from the cauterizing tissue and then provides a reading to the surgical team.

During the research phase, the iKnife diagnosed tissue samples from 91 patients with 100 percent accuracy. Diagnostic information that typically takes 30 minutes to receive from the laboratory was available instantly. ”