6.9.2022 | Tekniikka&Talous

New device developed in Finland detects cancer better than surgeon

Kuopio-based start-up Marginum has developed a device that identifies cancer cells from tissue waste generated during surgery. 
 
The smart tissue monitor gives an auditory signal to the surgeon when the device detects cancer cells from the tissue passing through the suction tube.

“Based on the information obtained, the surgeon is able to remove more cancerous tissue, so the patient receives the best possible treatment and healthcare costs are reduces”, CEO Samu Lehtonen says.

The device will first be tested in brain tumor surgeries at Kuopio University Hospital. Later, the device is intended to be used at least in operations for ovarian, liver and colon cancers.

“We plan to develop the device so that even during the first operation, the tumour can be removed as completely as possible.”

Clinical tests will start this year. The product will be brought to the market in 2024.

Marginum’s device is based on monitoring techniques that detect issue fluorescence, i.e. glow.

Before the surgery, the patient is given a certain drug, the derivatives of which accumulate especially in cancerous tissues. When blue light is applied to the tissue during the surgery, the substance is excited. When the excited state returns to a lower energy state, the tissue glows red. 
 
The device’s machine vision detects the glow, that the surgeon might not otherwise see.
 
Based on the experience so far, the tool seems nice and simple, it can be integrated to the surgeon’s workflow and the device does not interfere with the operation. 
 
The smart tissue monitor consists of standard industrial components.

"The device has a lot of electronics, optics and systems that support the operation. The device runs a software that analyses fluorescence and concludes on its basis whether there is cancerous tissue or not”, explains CTO Juho Leskinen.

The technology is rooted in interdisciplinary state-of-the-art research of the University of Eastern Finland, the Department of Neurosurgery of Kuopio University Hospital and the Eastern Finland Microsurgery Center.
 
The investors have already found Marginum.
 
In Marginum’s directed issuance of shares, Nostetta Ventures subscribed for the majority of the investment round. Constaco Oy, investment company of the Pylkkänen family also took part in the financing round.
 
The pricing of the product is still under work. The device is planned to be manufactured in Finland in due course.

Marginum
Product: Smart tissue monitor for cancer surgery
Founded: 2020
Employees: 4
Turnover: Not yet
Big opportunity: Creating a new branch of diagnostics in surgery
Biggest risk: The risks of a start-up company

The original full article in Finnish can be read at Tekniikka&Talous journal after accessing paywall.

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