Sunday, 28 July 2013

iKnife Intelligent Scalpel detects cancer!



Always one of the most important and most daunting questions in cancer surgery is; Does the surgeon removes the tumor actually quite? Or maybe retarded but a few malignant cells? The iKnife is to eliminate these uncertainties quickly and correctly. The iKnife is an intelligent smart scalpel. During an operation in near real time, it determines whether the surgeon cuts in cancer or the normal tissue. The knife is a so-called electrocautery, - a standard tool of surgery that burns rather than cuts through tissue. "Since there is electro surgery to doctors complain about the smoke here," said Zoltan Takats from Imperial College London. Burned tissue is not only smelly, smoke also contains toxic substances. Modern appliances suck up the smoke. Zoltan Takats, who developed the iKnife responsible, recognized the unwelcome by-product of electro surgery diagnostic tool. "Our iKnife while also sucking the smoke but then we fish out our various ions and direct them into a mass spectrometer." There they are chemically treated. And feedback to the surgeon follows within seconds.

 That beats the usual method of analysis of suspicious tissue during surgery. The traditional histology with microscope can take more than 20 minutes but this iKinife do it within seconds. In the mass spectrometer hundreds of molecules are tested for their tissue distribution. "We are particularly important substances of the cell envelope. For examples fats or phospholipids, "says Zoltan Takats. The totality of the molecules results in a pattern, as a signature. The interpretation left to the researcher’s pattern recognition software. At the end of this process, a pattern is derived from the tissue intended. How do they discriminate the chemical patterns of healthy and diseased tissue, should be known first. The researchers tested the iKnife in the laboratory on 1624 cancer and 1309 healthy tissue samples from a total of 302 patients. And then they dare tentatively into the operating room. In 91 operations the iKnife was used in parallel to the traditional histological methods for the tissues intended. The result is astonishing histology goes with iKnife quite astounding 100 percent. "We were very surprised," says Jeremy Nicholson, head of the Department of Surgery and Cancer at Imperial College London. "When you reach 100 percent in some studies already?" He believes the identification of chemical patterns with the iKnife could be valuable far beyond the surgery also. "Perhaps the abnormal chemical signatures of smoke provide future targets for therapies. Because if you know how this biochemical change occurs, one might, however, can develop new drugs. " The first, sensational study of the team that developed the iKnife, turned Although procedures other to cancer, but the researchers have at least tested in the laboratory, such as the iKnife behaves in the tissue drying Berke other diseases. "We can distinguish the iKnife whether Crohn's disease or another inflammatory bowel disease is present," says Jeremy Nicholson.

 These traditional methods often fail, and it can take weeks months until patients are diagnosed correctly. However, the chemical signature of the smoke is clear and unambiguous. "If we unravel faster diagnoses, the patient is doing well. And also comes cheaper the health care, "says Jeremy Nicholson. With this argument, the researchers also justify the high price of iKnifes. The prototype cost 300,000 Euros. The researchers are currently preparing clinical trials with thousands of patients.

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