Mechanical elasticity is a central parameter of living cells and tissues. Cancerous and healthy tissues, for example, have a different elasticity. Therefore, tools are under development to make tissue elasticity a new diagnostic marker in medicine1. Nevertheless, these efforts have been hampered by poor spatial resolution (i.e. ultrasound elastography) or by their usability being restricted to an in vitro environment (i.e. scanning ion conductance microscopy2,3,4 (SICM)). Here, we present a novel instrument which transfers principles of SICM into the macro-environment of endoscopy or laparoscopy. This opens the door for a real-time measurement of tissue elasticity, e. g., during minimally invasive surgery. Our handheld device uses the pressure of a water jet for inducing a deformation of the outer surface of any given tissue. The resulting change in a simultaneously recorded ion current between two electrodes on the water nozzle renders charac-teristic parameters for the elasticity of the tissue.
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Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
Phone: +49 (7071) 29-72639
Dr. Rolf Hecker
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