Ultra-precise lasers are now being developed by Scottish scientists to help remove cancers without damaging healthy tissue. This procedure removes cancer cells without damaging healthy cells in the body.
This procedure depends on some pulses that are short enough to melt the cancer cells but can’t allow heat to transfer to neighboring ones. This has been a major obstacle in past work in the field.
A sum of $1.6 million, a grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council funded the research in laser tech.
We proved in the lab that our laser system can remove cancer cells in a way that restricts damage to the surrounding, healthy cells—within the width of a human hair.Professor Jonathan Shepherd
According to him, these researchers are building on their understanding of ultra-precise lasers in colorectal cancer surgery towards clinical application, and are making efforts to know if it could work for brain, neck, and head cancers, where it could benefit patients.
The technique involves inserting the laser in pulses, this helps to prevent heat transfer to surrounding tissues. Three years is the current timeline for further R&D, presumably before the device is ready for clinical tests.
This isn’t the first time Heriot-Watt will be carrying out light-related therapy projects pursued. The university secured a £6.1 million ($8.3 million) grant to investigate how deep ultraviolet light therapy helps the practice of germicide.