As practice shows, even experienced neurosurgeons in the process of complex oncological operations are not always able to distinguish healthy tissue from the affected tumor, which can have the most serious consequences for the patient. A smart scalpel developed by scientists will be able to help them.
In terms of size, it almost does not differ from a conventional scalpel. A slight difference in the tip - the smart scalpel has a spherical shape. Its main feature is special sensors that determine the mechanical properties of the operated tissue. Just 400 milliseconds are enough and the neurosurgeon receives visual or sound information with the characteristics of the tissue.
The device was developed by specialists from the Free University of Brussels under the leadership of David Olive, together with the famous German neurosurgeon Ralf Strup. The smart scalpel is based on self-similar sensitive actuators driven by piezoelectric transducers.
The device operates in self-recognition mode. In contact with the brain tissue, the smart scalpel begins to generate vibrations and at the same time evaluate its mechanical properties. The assessment is carried out by comparison with the basic characteristics of healthy tissues.
The smart scalpel is effective in the early stages of tumor development detected by MRI. According to the creators, in the future, the smart scalpel can be adapted for tumors in other parts of the body.