Description:The iKnife is an experimental surgical knife that aims to detect cancerous tissue as it cuts. The iKnife sucks surgical smoke into a mass spectrometer, which then indicates whether the cut tissue is cancerous or healthy. Surgeons could use the iKnife to determine whether the cells are healthy or cancerous in a matter of seconds, whereas before it require removing the cancerous tissue and analyzing it using a mass spectrometer.

How it works: The iKnife is connected to a mass spectrometer to analyze the chemicals in the biological sample, because different cell types produce metabolites in different concentrations, a biological sample can reveal vast amounts of information on the state of the tissue. In fact there's no reason why the iKnife can't identify many other details beyond tumor malignancy, think types of bacteria present in a sample, or the identification of a sample.

Applications: When surgeons are removing a tumor or cancer tissue, how can they know where the cancer cells end and the healthy tissue begins, if they cut too much they might end up causing more trouble for the patient than was previously foreseen. If the surgeons leave malignant tissue in the patient then they risk leaving stray of cancer cells behind to spread again. Now this is where the iKnife can help out, by telling them exactly where there is cancerous tissue and where there is healthy tissue.


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