Cancer lurking in tissue could be more easily found when looking through a butterfly’s eye.
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Washington University in St. Louis have developed a surgical camera inspired by the eye of the morpho butterfly. The camera, connected to the goggles a surgeon wears, sees infrared signals given off by tumor-binding dyes so that the surgeon can remove all of the cancerous tissue.
The camera was tested in mice and in human patients with breast cancer. The study was published in the journal Optica.
“By looking at the way nature has designed the visual systems of insects, we can address serious problems that exist with cancer surgery today and make sure there are no cancer cells left behind during surgery,” said study leader Viktor Gruev, an Illinois professor of electrical and computer engineering and of the Carle Illinois College of Medicine. “This technology is more sensitive, more accurate, much smaller and lower-cost than currently available instruments that are FDA-approved to detect these signals.”
– Written by Liz Ahlberg Touchstone, News Bureau