To date, there’s been some pretty interesting advances in cancer detection. An MIT engineer created an implant that can continuously monitor a tumor, meaning cancer patents would ideally have to undergo fewer intrusive procedures. It's fantastic, but it requires detection itself.
That’s what makes the iKnife so amazing. Developed by researchers at Imperial College London, the intelligent surgical knife can detect cancerous tissue in three seconds, simply by cutting through it. As electrosurgical knives cut through tissue, they vaporize it, creating smoke. That smoke is full of biological information, so researchers attached a sensor to the knife that can sort through this information.
This is important because, generally, surgery to remove a cancerous tumor ends up removing a good bit of healthy tissue, since it’s impossible to determine the difference by sight. This scalpel can provide that information during surgery, allowing surgeons to only remove the cancerous tissue, making it a game-changer. After all, 20 percent of breast cancer patients undergo a second operation to remove all the cancerous tissue.
In testing, it was used on 91 patients and had a success rate of 100 percent.
At the moment it’s insanely expensive, costing £200,000 (about $306,000). But that number should lower if it enters commercial production.