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Pen-Sized Microscope IDs Cancer Cells

Pen-Sized Microscope IDs Cancer Cells
(Copyright DPC)

By    |   Friday, 29 January 2016 02:39 PM

University of Washington mechanical engineers have developed a new handheld, miniature microscope that could allow surgeons to "see" cancer cells at a cellular level in the operating room and determine where to stop cutting. It may also be useful in doctor’s offices.

The new technology — developed in collaboration with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Stanford University, and the Barrow Neurological Institute — was unveiled in a report published in the journal Biomedical Optics Express.

"Surgeons don't have a very good way of knowing when they're done cutting out a tumor," said Jonathan Liu, UW assistant professor of mechanical engineering. "They're using their sense of sight, their sense of touch, pre-operative images of the brain — and oftentimes it's pretty subjective.

"Being able to zoom and see at the cellular level during the surgery would really help them to accurately differentiate between tumor and normal tissues and improve patient outcomes," said Liu.

The pen-sized microscope delivers high-quality images at faster speeds than existing devices.

It would not only be useful to surgeons, but in diagnosing suspicious legions in a doctor’s office. For instance, dentists who see a lesion in a patient's mouth might us the device to diagnose it on the spot, instead of cutting it out and sending it to a lab to be biopsied for oral cancer.

Researchers expect to begin testing it as a cancer-screening tool in clinical settings next year.

"The microscope technologies that have been developed over the last couple of decades are expensive and still pretty large, about the size of a hair dryer or a small dental x-ray machine," said Milind Rajadhyaksha, associate faculty member in the dermatology service at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. "So there's a need for creating much more miniaturized microscopes."

The research was funded, in part, by the National Institutes of Health.

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University of Washington engineers have developed a new handheld microscope that could allow surgeons to 'see' cancer cells at a cellular level in the operating room and determine where to stop cutting.
pen, cancer, microscope
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2016-39-29
Friday, 29 January 2016 02:39 PM
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