An artificial nose developed at Tampere University, Finland, has been found to help neurosurgeons single out cancerous tissue in the brain during surgery, ensuring more precise excision of tumors. When an electric knife or diathermy blade is used during a neurosurgery to destroy cancerous tissue, the molecules disperse in the form of surgical smoke. Researchers from Tampere University feed the smoke into a new measuring system to differentiate whether the destroyed tissue is malignant or healthy.
Presently, frozen section analysis is performed for intraoperative tumor identification, in which a small sample of the tumor will be given to a pathologist during the surgery, who will then undertake a microscopic analysis before phoning the operating theatre to report the results. However, the artificial nose makes use of machine learning to analyze the gas given off by the tissue . The system had a classification accuracy of 83% when all samples were analyzed.