New ‘smart needle’ to make brain surgery safer

20 January 2017:

A new high-tech medical device to make brain surgery safer has been developed by researchers at the Centre for Nanoscale BioPhotonics located at the University of Adelaide.

Led by CNBP Investigator Professor Robert McLaughlin (pictured), the tiny imaging probe, encased within a brain biopsy needle, lets surgeons ‘see’ at-risk blood vessels as they insert the needle, allowing them to avoid causing bleeds that can potentially be fatal.

Over the past six months, the “smart needle” has been used in a pilot trial with 12 patients undergoing neurosurgery at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Western Australia.

Today, Education and Training Minister Senator Simon Birmingham, was shown the high tech needle and the laboratory where it was developed at a special event at the University of Adelaide.

“This smart biopsy device is an outstanding example of how our investment in research can translate into real benefits for industries and ultimately for Australians,” Minister Birmingham said.

A press release related to this activity can be viewed online, as can a YouTube video detailing  this innovative translational research.

Below – CNBP Director Professor Mark Hutchinson (left) and CNBP Investigator Professor  Robert McLaughlin (second right) look on as Senator Simon Birmingham (centre) explores the ‘smart needle device’.