A new ‘smart needle’ probe uses light to detect cancer almost instantly without the need for surgery.
Developed by a team from the University of Bristol, the smart needle relies on Raman spectroscopy to measure the way light from a low-power laser scatters when it hits tissue. Since healthy and diseased tissues scatter light differently, the system can identify the presence of disease in just seconds.
According to project lead Professor Nick Stone, “The Raman smart needle can measure the molecular changes associated with disease in tissues and cells at the end of the needle. Provided we can reach a lump or bump of interest with the needle tip, we should be able to assess if it is healthy or not.”