Smartglasses Help Surgeons Visualize Cancerous Cells

On Monday, February 10th, the first surgery  using smartglasses to visualize cancer cells was conducted at Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine. The wearable technology was developed at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, to distinguish cancer cells from healthy cells, helping to ensure that no stray tumor cells are left behind during surgery. The cancerous cells glow blue through the eyewear when in use.

“Imagine what it would mean if these glasses eliminated the need for follow-up surgery and the associated pain, inconvenience and anxiety,” said Julie Margenthaler, MD, an associate professor of surgery at Washington University, who performed the operation. 

The video above was captured during the lymph node removal from the perspective of Dr. Margenthaler as she wore the smartglasses. A florescent marker injected into the patient and special lighting made cancer cells glow blue when viewed with the technology. The lighter the shade of blue, the more concentrated the cancer cells are.

Source: Washington University in St. Louis