New Microscopy Technology May Help Surgeons Save More Lives

Doctoral student Jeffrey Watson, left, and associate professor Marek Romanowski assemble parts for the prototype microscopy device.

Researchers at the University of Arizona have invented a device that for the first time allows neurosurgeons, who use microscopes extensively while operating, to see blood flowing inside vessels and more clearly distinguish cancerous from healthy tissue under the microscope.

Called augmented microscopy, the technology gives surgeons a much more detailed picture in real time and helps them stay on course in surgeries where being off two millimeters could cause paralysis, blindness and even death. And surgeons get this better view without having to learn new technical skills or adapt to changes in the operating room.

“When we started developing this technology, we thought of it like a Google map of a surgical view, providing layers of pertinent information in real time,” said Marek Romanowski, UA associate professor of biomedical engineering. “Our augmented technology provides diagnostic information under the microscope on demand and in color, appearing directly over tissue a surgeon is operating on -- as if the tissue was painted to help direct the surgeon’s work.”

Read more in Arizona Engineer.

University of Arizona College of Engineering
Department of Biomedical Engineering 1127 E James E. Rogers Way P.O. Box 210020 Tucson, AZ 85721-0020