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February 12, 2014 AT 5:02 pm

High Tech Glasses Spot Hidden Cancer #WearableWednesday

CancerGlass

You may be on the fence about Google Glass, but here’s something to get excited about. These glasses detect fluorescence and allow doctors to scope out malignant cancer cells according to PolicyMic.

A prototype of these hi-tech glasses was successfully used on a cancer patient for the first time in St. Louis on Monday. Cancer cells are extremely difficult to see using normal optics, even with high-powered magnification. By injecting a blue dye which specifically binds to cancer cells, surgeons using the glasses are able to detect and remove tumors as small as 1 mm.

GlassDoc

The glasses were developed by a team at Washington University led by Dr. Samuel Achilefu, based on earlier experiments in mice. Before surgery, a fluorescent dye is injected that binds only to cancerous cells, which have different surfaces to normal cells. The blue dye used on human patients appears a more vibrant shade of light blue wherever there is a high density of cancer cells, and darker in less concentrated areas.

Expect to see more on the medical trend with glasses, as they are being utilized in surgery.  This is adding to a list of new technologies being used in healthcare, including 3D printing (using cells), wearable sensors and robotics.  We are moving closer and closer to a health bay envisioned by Star Trek. Now we just need Geordi’s visor!


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