Imperial College sells iKnife technology
Waters Corporation, a US-based analytical instrument manufacturer, has bought the technology behind the surgical “iKnife” developed by researchers at Imperial College London.
REIMS – rapid evaporative ionisation mass spectrometry – has been developed by MediMass, a company created by the iKnife’s inventor, Imperial’s professor Zoltan Takats.
For the past three years, Waters and MediMass have worked with researchers at the university to investigate applications of REIMS in surgery, potentially providing surgeons with diagnostic information about the tissue they are cutting in real time.
The iKnife is an adapted electrosurgical knife, which heats tissue as it cuts to make a clean incision. Smoke from the tissue is ionised using REIMS technology and analysed using a mass spectrometer, providing information about chemical composition of the cells.
“The Waters Corporation is in a unique position to develop REIMS technology for clinical, microbiology and food safety applications,” said professor Jeremy Nicholson, Imperial’s head of the Department of Surgery and Cancer.