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  SSIM researchers and Children's Hospital test virtual biopsy technology

Nov 13, 2007 - Smart Sensors and Integrated Microsystem program researchers have teamed up with Children’s Hospital to conduct pre-clinical trials of the world’s first virtual biopsy technology. The new technology, based on Raman Spectrometry, enables surgeons to identify cancerous tissue in real-time during surgery, eliminating the need for lab biopsy, preventing the unnecessary removal of healthy tissue and reducing the likelihood of recurrence. Currently, Dr. Michael Klein, Children’s Hospital surgeon-in-chief, is helping to validate the technology by using it in surgery alongside traditional biopsies. Raman Spectrometry is the study of how materials, such as body tissue, reflect light. SSIM researchers led by SSIM Director Greg Auner have developed algorithms to translate the complicated information, and, using smart sensors and Raman Spectrometry, to fashion surgical devices that identify cancer cells with nearly perfect accuracy. The technology can not only be used in surgery, but at doctor’s offices to screen for cancers of the colon, pancreas, ovaries, liver, lungs or breast – all without a single incision, Auner said. This would ultimately prevent millions of cancer-related deaths each year through early detection and prevention.

© WSU Highlights 2007