Waters Corporation (MA, USA) has announced the acquisition of MediMass Ltd’s (Budapest, Hungary) Rapid Evaporative Ionisation MS (REIMS) – the enabling technology for the Intelligent Knife, or ‘iKnife’.
Invented by Zoltan Takats, a Professor at Imperial University (London, UK) and founder of MediMass Ltd, the iKnife is currently in the conceptual stages of development and could potentially be used for real-time diagnostics in surgery.
The enabling technology for this device (REIMS) is responsible for the direct analysis of the aerosol (‘smoke’) released during electrosurgical dissection by MS. To date, REIMS technology has demonstrated the ability to bring ambient ionization sampling into real world applications such as food safety, microbiology and clinical diagnostic applications.
For the past 3 years, Waters have worked in partnership with MediMass and Imperial University to investigate applications of REIMS in surgery. Waters intend to further explore the viability of its application in conjunction with a team of researchers from Imperial University.
Ara Warkes Darzi, Professor of Surgery at Imperial College London and Honorary Consultant Surgeon at Imperial College Hospital NHS Trust (London, UK), said: “The iKnife has shown potential to provide surgeons with crucial diagnostic information during surgery, but it requires significant further development to become an approved medical device.” Darzi added that, “With Waters’ backing allied to the chemistry and spectroscopy expertise in our department and the access to patients facilitated by the AHSC, the elements are in place to fulfil that development.”