The world's smallest microscope - which can fit into a needle and is capable of detecting cancer cells often missed by surgeons - has earned its inventors at The University of Western Australia a place in the finals of the 2014 WA Innovator of the Year Awards.
The microscope in a needle, which may be used during operations to remove breast cancer tumours, was developed by a team from UWA's Optical + Biomedical Engineering Laboratory, in collaboration with clinicians from Royal Perth Hospital and Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, and with support from Cancer Council WA and the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
The breakthrough technology, which has already won recognition around the world, is perfecting microscopic resolution to aid surgical intervention - by putting a microscope inside a standard hypodermic needle to enable 3-D scanning. In principal, it should allow surgeons to locate very small tumour elements, avoiding the need for further surgery and improving the prognosis of the patient.
The finalists in the awards were announced today by the Department of Premier and Cabinet.
The awards are administered by the Department of Commerce with support from Mitsubishi Corporation, Woodside, Amcom, Cisco, Perth Convention Bureau, Watermark Intellectual Asset Management, Wrays, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Hatch and Murfett Legal.
The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on 5 November.
Winthrop Professor David Sampson (Head UWA Optical + Biomedical Engineering Laboratory) (+61 8) 6488 7112
Associate Professor Robert McLaughlin (UWA School of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering) (+61 8) 6488 3105
David Stacey (UWA Media Manager) (+61 8) 6488 3229 / (+61 4) 32 637 716