Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Combined laser scapel/probe for viewing/destroying individual cells

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.

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