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    'Smart' scalpel can detect cancerous tissue from healthy tissue

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    Originally published on July 18, 2013

    A 'smart' scalpel that instantly sniffs out cancerous tissue has been created by scientists, according to media reports today. By accurately distinguishing between healthy tissue and tumours, the 'magic wand' could revolutionise cancer surgery, reports The Daily Mail.

    The "iKnife" is a modified electric scalpel and mass spectrometer machine - two pieces of medical equipment frequently used in cancer tumour removal operations.

    The mass spectrometer sucks up smoke emitted from the electric scalpel during the operation. Scientists from Imperial College London have modified the mass spectrometer to provide immediate analysis of the smoke generated by the electric scalpel to identify healthy tissue from diseased tissue.

    The creators tout the invention as paving the way for fewer operations, smaller wounds and the ability to perform trickier operations.


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