MIT Technology Review reports
Engineers at the University of Texas at Austin have patented a laser microscalpel that allows a surgeon to operate on tissue one cell at a time, precisely targeting disease while leaving healthy surrounding cells alive.Current technologies for destroying a cell damage surrounding cells. The device also provides imagery of the cells -- using two-photon fluorescence microscopy -- to guide the surgery.
On what's left to be done
A problem that remains to be solved before the device can be used on patients is shrinking the width of the probe from 15 to 5 millimeters--the size of the standard tools used in endoscopic surgery--so that it will be compatible with existing surgical technology.The research was published in the June 23 issue of Optics Express.