Hungarian scientists aim for prototype of cancer surgery device

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prototype of cancer surgery deviceBUDAPEST – Hungarian scientists are aiming for the first prototype of a new device in years will help surgeons distinguish between healthy tissue and tumors in a split-second as they operate and remove cancerous tissue precisely.

Hungarian chemist Zoltan Takats started work on the technology in 2002 in the and from 2004 onwards at the Budapest Semmelweis Medical University in cooperation with the Imperial College London, where he works now.

Last week, U.S.-based Waters Corporation acquired the technology – called Rapid Evaporative Ionization Mass Spectrometry (REIMS) – from Hungarian start- firm MediMass Ltd.

Waters said in a July 22 statement on its website the technology could be used create the “Intelligent Knife” or “iKnife,” a device “in the conceptual stages of development could potentially be used for real- diagnostics in surgery”.

Takats told Reuters he hoped the acquisition would give the project a new momentum, leading a device prototype within years and licensing a couple of years after .

“What we have developed is a device that can tell a surgeon the kind of tissue on which he is operating,” Takats said.

The invention combines existing technologies: mass spectrometry, which is a chemical analytical method, and electrosurgery.

“These two are very, very far from each other, and no has ever thought that these two could be combined,” Takats said. [eap_ad_2] The technology relies on a modification of the electrosurgical knife, which sends molecules in the form of smoke as surgeons operate and which Takats and his colleagues direct to the mass spectrometer for testing.

This allows analysis of the sample tissue on the spot in less than a second. Under normal circumstances, surgeons need to send off samples to a laboratory for analysis, and it takes about an hour in Hungary to get the result, Takats said.

“At the moment we are able to produce not only the mass spectrometry information within about half a second, but also analyze it and identify the kind of tumor on which the surgeon is operating,” Takats said. “This whole can be done in 0.7 second at the moment.”

MediMass Chief Akos Tallos declined to say how much Waters had paid for the assets, which include patent applications, software, databases and REIMS expertise.

“This transaction will … give a fresh boost to creating the prototype of the device and then its licensing afterwards,” Tallos said. (Reuters)[eap_ad_3]