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Artificial Nose Can Smell Cancer-Research News!

Artificial nose can smell cancer!

An artificial nose, an electronic which was  developed at Tampere University, Finland, helps neurosurgeons to identify cancerous tissue during surgery and and enables for the more excision of the cancer tissue and gives a perfectly done surgery for cancer resection at the end.

These are various electro-surgical resection devices used during the surgery for the removal of the diseases tissue from the body like the diathermy or electric knife. During these process of tissue handling, the tissue is burned, and  the tissue molecules disperses into the smoke. The artificial nose is a electronic machine that identifies the presence of the cancer tissue in the smoke by analyzing the smoke that is collected into it. There by helping in differentiating the normal tissue from the abnormal cancerous tissue in the body.

An article on using surgical smoke to identify brain tum-ours was recently published in the Journal of Neurosurgery.surgical smoke to identify brain tumours

“Our new method offers both a promising way to identify malignant tissue in real time and the ability to study several

samples from different points of the tumour,” researcher Ilkka Haapala from Tampere University.

He further explained about the device  that

“Our new method offers both a promising way to identify malignant tissue in real time and the ability to study several samples from different points of the tumour,” Haapala.

“The specific advantage of the equipment is that it can be connected to the instrumentation already present in neurosurgical operating theaters,” Haapala points out.

The technology of the artificial nose  is based on differential mobility spectrometry (DMS), wherein flue gas ions are fed into an electric field. The distribution of ions in the electric

field is tissue-specific, and the tissue can be identified on the basis of the resulting “odour fingerprint.”

The DMS connected to a special smoke sampling system was used to discriminate brain tumors from 28 patients who had undergone neurosurgical operations.

brain tumors patients who had undergone neurosurgical operations

The equipment used was developed specifically for the study. It consists of a machine learning system, which analyses the flue gas with DMS technology, and an electric knife,which is used to produce the flue gas from the tissues.

The system’s classification accuracy was 83% when all the samples were analysed. When comparing low malignancy tumours (gliomas) to control samples, the classification accuracy of the system was 94%.classification accuracy of the system


In present scenario , where cancer cases are reportedly increasing more, This device could decrease the number of deaths in  cancer sufferers who have to undergo surgery. Normally ,the fast identification of the cancer tissue during the surgery was to send the diseased tissue for frozen section analysis.

This new technique developed by the researches helps to identifying the cancer tissue residual in real time making the surgery success rate increase in relation to the total removal of the cancer tissue.

The cost issue is the major draw back to be widely used in the clinical practice. This new electronic helps to improvise the health of many cancer patients and sure proven to give promising results post operatively.

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