Pen guides sur­geon to can­cer cells

Science Illustrated - - MEGAPIXEL -

In can­cer surgery, it is of­ten hard for the sur­geon to dis­tin­guish be­tween can­cer tis­sue and healthy tis­sue, but with a new pen, the doc­tor only needs to point at tis­sue dur­ing surgery to learn if it is can­cer­ous. The pen emits a wa­ter drop, which dis­solves the mol­e­cules lib­er­ated by can­cer cells. The drop is im­me­di­ately an­a­lysed by a mass spec­trom­e­ter, that gives the an­swer in a mat­ter of sec­onds. The pen has di­ag­nosed tis­sue sam­ples of lung can­cer, breast can­cer, etc., at an ac­cu­racy of 96 per cent. It will be used in surgery this year.

Photo // Vi­vian Abagiu

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