A tissue specimen taken from a patient by a biopsy or an operation is usually assessed by the pathologist on the following day, after the specimen is adequately fixed in formalin (permanent section). However, occasionally surgeons need pathological information more urgently. They will request for a frozen section. The quality of the information of the frozen section is inferior to the permanent section, but it will take 40 minutes to prepare the specimen and return the conclusion to the surgeon. Creating frozen sections is labour intensive and still takes a lot of time. Besides that, pathology laboratories are becoming more and more centralized. There is a need to assess the specimens in a fast, non-labour intensive way.
Using the Flash Pathology scanner, the resection planes of the specimen can be examined in the operating theatre, preventing revision surgeries and unnecessary biopsies
The Flash Pathology scanner enables imaging of the surface of a specimen within seconds, without tissue preparation. Cell structures can be visualized, to distinguish healthy tissue from tumor tissue. The images can be sent digitally to the pathologists in a fast and non-labour intensive way. Because of this, specimens can be examined in the operating theatre, preventing revision surgeries and unnecessary biopsies.
A prototype is available, which successfully distinguished glioma infiltration, breast cancer and lung cancer from healthy tissue in human specimens. Next steps are to create custom developed parts to improve supply chain and obtain the CE mark.
Meet the team
Frank van Mourik
Jorge joined NLC in December 2021 as a Venture Partner. Before joining NLC, Jorge founded and managed Kanteron Systems, a Computational Bioinformatics company. Formerly, he was a member of the European Commission Expert Group and a university lecturer (UPV and UOC). Jorge graduated in Computer Science from the University of Oxford and has completed postgraduate studies in Entrepreneurship at MIT and Clinical Genomics at the University of Valencia. Currently, he is an Innovation Fellow at Harvard University.