The Cutting Edge

This year at the Imperial Festival, Professor Roger Kneebone (Surgery and Cancer) and his team presented a realistic simulation of how a new surgical tool developed by Dr Zoltan Takats and team from Imperial College London could revolutionise the way surgeons decide what tissue to remove during an operation. The Intelligent Knife or iKnife can precisely identify tumour tissue while an operation is underway, thus making the surgery more reliable and faster. Visitors met and spoke with practicing surgeons, doctors, paramedics and scientists to find out more about how this new technology could become an everyday practice and who this technology is actually benefiting.

The surgeon, Miss Laura Muirhead, uses the iKnife to identify a lump in the bowel. (Photo by Howard Tribe)
The surgeon, Miss Laura Muirhead, uses the iKnife to identify a lump in the bowel. (Photo by Howard Tribe)

The performance started with a patient arriving by ambulance with lower abdominal pain. After handover, he was taken in to the pop-up operating theatre where the simulated open bowel procedure went underway using the iKnife. In between performances, visitors were encouraged to try out the iKnife themselves to identify the sources of different samples of animal liver.

Children using the iKnife to identify the different sources of animal liver. (Photo by Howard Tribe).
Children using the iKnife to identify the different sources of animal liver. (Photo by Howard Tribe)

This project is part of a wider initiative between Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust Surgical Metabonomics Centre, and the Wellcome Trust.

Zinah Sorefan
Distributed Simulation (DS) Research Officer and Events Coordinator
Department of Surgery and Cancer

 

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