New High-Tech Glasses Can Detect Cancer Cells During Surgery

A newly developed pair of Hi-tech glasses will help surgeons detect cancer cells during the surgery itself, thus avoiding the need of follow-up surgeries. Presently, there exists a fierce competition in the wearable glass market. Almost every big brand is working and doing a research in this domain. One good example is that of Google Glasses used during surgery for a chondrocyte transplant operation in Spain. They used the augmented reality technology to consult in real time with surgeons based in the U.S. This year, the new pair of glasses are being developed by a team of scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis (WUSTL) and the University of Arizona (UA) in Tucson led by Samuel Achilefu.

Cancer cells are extremely difficult to see using normal optics and even with high-powered magnification. This technology incorporates custom video, a head mounted display and an injecting a blue dye which specifically binds to cancer cells and makes them glow. These glasses help surgeons to easily distinguish cancer cells from healthy cells and thus helping them to ensure no stray tumor cells are left behind during surgery. Surgeons using the glasses are able to detect and remove tumors as small as 1 mm.


Presently surgeons are required to remove the tumor as well as the neighboring tissue that may or may not include cancer cells. Finally these samples are sent to a lab to check if cancer cells are present in the neighboring tissue and if the result is affirmative then a second surgery is recommended in order to remove additional tissue. Researchers claim that about 20-25 percent of breast cancer patients who have lumps removed require a second surgery. These glasses could reduce the need for additional surgical procedures i.e follow-up surgeries, continued stress on patients, associated pain, inconvenience as well as time and expenses.

How does this technology work?

Before the surgery, a fluorescent dye is injected that binds all the cancer cells. This blue dye gives a more vibrant shade of light blue in the area of high density of cancer cells, and darker shade in less concentrated areas. The fluorescent dye used in this technology is invisible to human eye but under special lighting, it can be visualized with right optical instrument. The glasses process the fluorescent light and enhance contrast to make spotting the cancer cells easier.

This research is funded by the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health. This technology is in its early stages and needs more development and testing and the university is now seeking approval for a different molecular agent. To get best results they need an agent that specifically targets cancer cells and once attached will remain connected for a longer period of time.

The invention of this new Hi-tech glasses for detecting cancer cells indicate that the wearable technology is not just limited in developing gadgets that measure fitness, use maps and make calls but has got a promising future in the fields of medicine and research as well. Share your views in comments below.

Source: #-Link-Snipped-#


You are reading an archived discussion.

Related Posts

The website that leaked Microsoft's Cortana has now leaked the purported 'Wi-Fi Sense' feature in a 30-second video. The website said that the "Wi-Fi Sense" feature helps users with...
Actually, don't. Just enjoy the comic! 😁
AllenPetaura submitted a new project: PETAURA - The Ultimate SmartPet LED&NFC Collar. LINK: The NFC technology in the collar enables close-range communication between two similar devices. This can be...
S&T GeoTronics LLC submitted a new project: Open Enigma Project - Arduino based Open Source Fully Functional Enigma Replica Checkout the Kickstarter on going success at: Imagine having this...
Hi Ceans, i read this new about Finance Minister P. Chidambaram presentin the Interim Budget for 2014-15. i have barrowed education loan for my engineering form karnataka bank, so last...