The University of Michigan is researching an ultrasound scalpel that can detach a single cancer cell from surrounding tissue.
The team found a way to change laser light into sound energy with a beam smaller than a human hair.
The beam blasts and cuts with pressure, rather than heat.
It may make nearly painless surgery possible since the beam is small enough to avoid nerve fibers.
Hyoung Won Baac worked on the project as a doctoral student. He says it may allow a surgeon to be extremely delicate.
“Microcutting tumor tissues without touching, anything you know surrounding blood vessels…all just by these strong sound waves,” says Hyoung Won Baac.
Baac says that the technology could lead to an invisible knife for noninvasive surgery.