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Technology Breakthrough: "Google Glasses" on a mission to save lives!

Blog Written by Hutch Hutchison, Director, Technology & Engineering Matching, FuzeHub
I apologize to my readership for deviating from my usual blogging on Manufacturing Technologies – this article grabbed me so profoundly, I had to share! Besides, it is photonics technology, which is so prevalent in the Upstate NY region, made bode well for a manufacturing opportunity!
A team of scientists and doctors at Washington University of St. Louis, aided by University of Arizona, have developed glasses that have the ability to detect cancer cells! The glasses, already used on February 10 by a surgeon, who was removing a tumor from a breast, proved feasible.
Dr. Samuel Achilefu led a team of researchers, doctors, engineers, and grad students, to provide the wearable system, which consists of custom video, a head-mounted display, and a targeted molecular agent injected into a patient that attaches to cancer cells, making them glow. The injection of a dye, which causes cancer cells to fluoresce, makes them visible to the surgeon, once appropriately illuminated, and enhanced by the imaging system algorithm.
This development is huge (in my opinion), as surgeons currently excise a tumor or other cancerous tissue, and remove a pre-calculated margin around it, attempting to get rid of all the cancer. With no other means of detection, the removed tissue is sent to a pathology lab, to determine the existence cancer outside the defined region. Often, post-surgical detection results in the patient needing to return to remove additional cancerous cells, not a good thing. With the glasses, which represent a wonderful  purpose for Google Glasses, the cancerous cells can be detected and removed during the initial surgical procedure.
While the researchers certainly caution that the glasses are still experimental, they have been proven on laboratory animals, and as backup in the February 10 breast cancer surgery.
Here are a couple of links, one to a SPIE Article, and the second to a WUSTL press release. The second has a link to a 20 second video demonstrating the fluorescing cancer cells:
SPIE: WSTLU Researchers develop cancer detecting glasses
WUSTL Press Release
Google Glasses, eat your heart out!


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