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Pen-Like Device for Real Time Tissue Analysis to Revolutionize Surgical Pathology

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 04 May 2023
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Image: The non-invasive pen-like device enables painless tissue analysis (Photo courtesy of MS Pen)
Image: The non-invasive pen-like device enables painless tissue analysis (Photo courtesy of MS Pen)

For over a century, cancer tissue analysis has depended on long-established workflows, with traditional histopathology results typically taking 40 minutes or more. In this process, tissue is biopsied, sent to a lab, frozen, sliced, stained, and examined by a pathologist under a microscope. While awaiting results, the patient remains under anesthesia, increasing their risk of infection and incurring additional costs for both the patient and hospital. Now, a groundbreaking device incorporating cutting-edge mass spectrometry and artificial intelligence (AI) can identify cancerous tissue—in vivo and ex vivo—within just 10 seconds, empowering surgeons, oncologists, and healthcare providers with real-time decision-making capabilities.

The MasSpec Pen System from MS Pen Technologies (Houston, TX, USA) is a proprietary, user-friendly, disposable, and biocompatible device that facilitates rapid tissue analysis. This non-invasive pen-like instrument grants medical professionals access to sophisticated technology that was previously available only to specialists. The MasSpec Pen System ensures fast, precise and highly accurate tissue identification, both in vivo and ex vivo. The more cancer is removed, the less likely tumors will recur and the less likely patients will need adjuvant treatments.

The MasSpec Pen System requires only a small amount of water and three seconds of gentle contact, eliminating the need to destroy or remove healthy tissue. This results in improved precision, recovery periods, and outcomes. Probes from the disposable MasSpec pen connect directly to the mass spectrometer's console, which analyzes the droplet to generate a unique molecular fingerprint of the sample. Advanced data analytics and AI transform complex metabolic data into straightforward, actionable information. Predictive statistical models built from molecular data distinguish between normal and cancerous tissues. In 10 seconds or less, the software provides easily interpretable diagnostic results in real time.

With the MasSpec Pen System, medical professionals can characterize tissues without leaving the operating room or extracting tissue from the patient. This portable, battery-operated machine can be relocated as needed—whether to a patient room or just inches from the operating table. Due to its quick and non-invasive nature, the process can be repeated multiple times if suspicious tissue remains. By eliminating the need for repeated invasive pathology results, the MasSpec Pen System significantly reduces procedure times, decreases extended anesthesia use, lowers the risk of infection, and minimizes financial burdens for both patients and hospital systems.

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