The University of Michigan is researching an ultrasound scalpel that can detach a single cancer cell from surrounding tissue.
The team, led by Professor Jay Guo, found a way to change laser light into sound energy. The technology works with pressure, rather than heat.
Hyoung Won Baac worked on this project as a doctoral student. He says the beam will allow surgeons to be extremely delicate because of its size.
"Our hair is a single hair which is around 100 micrometer. So our focal spot, the sound beam focus spot is actually smaller than that."