A relatively new invention dubbed the ‘iKnife’ is revolutionizing the medical world.

The electronic smart knife is giving surgeons instant feedback, allowing them to determine much more quickly where to cut when performing a surgery, allowing for the completion of much quicker and more accurate procedures.

According to a report on bbc.com, identifying the difference between cancerous and healthy brain tissue in patients can be a tricky task. The tissues look very similar. Leaving any portion of the cancerous tumor in the patient’s body means the cancer can come back, and cutting away anything that’s healthy by accident can mean irreparable damage, like the loss of the ability to speak, when performing the task of removing a tumor from the brain and cutting away too much tissue.

How does it compare with the past? During cancer surgery, doctors normally have to take a tissue sample and send it to a lab for testing to see if it is cancerous or not. This procedure can take up to half an hour, just to ensure doctors are cutting in the right area.

Now, with the iKnife, all this waiting time is eliminated. The iKnife works by burning tissue as it cuts, and sending off a vapor which is analyzed by a device in the surgical room. The device gives surgeons instant feedback on the type of tissue they are cutting, allowing them to make the right choice and do extremely accurate work.

The iKnife is limited to cancer cell detection, but in that area alone, is extremely useful.

Zoltan Takats, a Hungarian research chemist associated with Semmelweis University, in Budapest is the inventor of this time, and possibly life, saving device.

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