We thought that we’d seen it all when Google Glass came out a few years ago. But that might just be the tip of the iceberg as far as the tech is concerned.
According to some scientists and researchers from the University of Illinois, they have created, what might be the ultimate medical breakthrough.
A goggles that can spot cancer cells in the human body and initial reports are extremely positive.
The report was first published in the medical journal called Optica and cites how the Goggles draw inspiration from the eyes of the morpho butterfly.
How the Goggles work
This new surgical goggles features an integrated camera that gives surgeons two distinct images of cancerous cells that are highlighted fluorescently. One image is the traditional two dimensional color one whereas the other image is like an infrared image.
We say ‘like’ because it isn’t in infrared image in totality, but is pretty close to it.
The camera helps detect cancerous cells that can sneak in under healthy tissue and allows doctors to destroy it completely without the need for multiple invasive surgeries.
For the uninitiated, the Morpho Butterfly has a highly complex visual system that allows them to gain multispectral visuals at the same time.
The initial tests
While early tests were limited to mice, the later tests were conducted on breast cancer patients.
The patients were injected with a dye that attaches itself to cancerous cells in the body. These cells contain a protein that emits an infrared signal after binding to the cancer cells. While the human eye is unable to pick up these IR signals, the camera picks it up easily leading to the detection of the cancer cells.
So effective is the tech that at times, the surgeons were able to detect signals being emitted from deep under skin tissue or under organs.
The potential applications of the tech are amazing to say the least.
And unlike most new tech which takes years to replicate for mass production, this Goggles can be produced for as less as $20. It weighs less than 23 grams and needs no special lighting in the operation theater to be used.
Most of the IR cameras currently used in medical science cannot function under normal surgical lighting. They require the surgical lights to be dimmed to be able to view the cancer cells.
What the future holds
In all probability, this might replace all the flouroscent markers used currently for surgeries. Due to the small size and the light weight, these cameras may even be attached to an endoscope someday to be used for detecting colon cancer.
The other potential applications include the use for detecting cancerous cells in lymph nodes, neck cancer, head cancer and prostate cancer.
The team of researchers is currently working with the FDA and plan to go mainstream with this amazing new discovery soon.