A group of researchers from Queen Mary’s University of London successfully tested a new instrument for visualizing the state of living tissue in operations with low invasiveness. They differ in that the surgeon can not literally look into the part of the body that operates. This is done to minimize the impact on the patient’s body, but somehow you need to orient yourself inside the body to the doctor.
The former methods were limited to constructing a work area scheme before surgery and using ultrasound probes during it. A new technology, an optical ultrasonic needle, allows you to “peek” inside living tissue at any time, with high resolution and minimal impact on living cells. It has already been successfully tested on pigs.
The instrument consists of an optical fiber that is placed in a surgical needle and connected to an ultrasonic pulse generator. The doctor inserts the needle into the body, making a tiny puncture, the surrounding tissues are illuminated by a series of high-frequency pulses, the reflected signal receives the sensor on the second fiber. The picture is built in real time, the resolution of the instrument reaches 64 microns, which is identical to the size of only 9 red blood cells.
With this accuracy and speed, the doctor sees everything that happens in the area of interest, from the structure of specific living tissues to the appearance of new formations. And he can conduct the operation not at random, but precisely knowing what and in what place it is necessary to do. The prospects for the new technology are very encouraging and the development team is now preparing for the first clinical trials in humans.