The surgeon, Miss Laura Muirhead, uses the iKnife to identify a lump in the bowel.

Howard Tribe

The Cutting Edge

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This year at the Cheltenham Science Festival, you will be able to experience how a new surgical tool could revolutionise the way surgeons decide what tissue to remove during an operation. The Intelligent Knife or iKnife can precisely identify tumour tissue while an operation is underway, thus making the surgery more reliable and faster. Visitors will meet with practising surgeons, doctors, paramedics and scientists to find out more about how this new technology could become an everyday practice.

We’ll show you how scientists can use the iKnife to identify different sources of animal tissue and demonstrate how it may be used in a surgical emergency within our pop-up simulated operating theatre, led by Professor Roger Kneebone. Then we’ll ask what you think about whether new technology should become an everyday practice and who this technology is actually benefiting!

The iKnife was developed by Dr Zoltan Takats and team from Imperial College London. This project is part of a wider initiative between Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare NHS trust Surgical Metabonomics Centre, and the Wellcome Trust.

Performance times are as follows:

  • Friday– 11am, 1pm and 4:30pm (evening discussion event at 7:30pm)
  • Saturday – 10am, 11:30am, 2pm and 3:30pm
  • Sunday– 10am, 11:30am, 2pm and 3:30pm (evening discussion event at 7:30pm)