Photo/IllutrationA new high-definition video microscope is used in a surgery demonstration. (Ryosuke Nonaka)

KYOTO--Researchers have developed what they tout as “Superman’s eyes” for surgeons, a high-definition 3-D video microscope that makes their jobs easier.

Created by researchers primarily from Kyoto University, Panasonic Corp. and Mitaka Kohki Co., the microscope can show internal organs and other objects in detail.

Images are never blurred even when organs move by heartbeats, breathing and other factors during surgeries, and extremely thin sutures can also be clearly displayed.

The equipment is expected to not only lessen the burden on surgeons but also benefit patients, as it ensures that operations are carried out much more safely, according to the researchers.

The new device will be made commercially available in Japan in December at the earliest.

During surgeries, doctors need to accurately locate blood vessels and deftly handle thin threads for suturing. Although dedicated microscopes are used, images can become blurred when the objects being shown are shaken by breathing and other causes.

To address the issue, the researchers developed a new video microscope system with a drastically improved focused area and resolution, enabling organs and other objects to be shown vividly even though they might move 5 millimeters by the beat of a heart.

The researchers also succeeded in shooting clear images of a suture 1 micro-meter in diameter with their microscope.

Under the new system, surgeons wear 3-D goggles to watch images on the monitor in front of them during surgeries.

This eliminates the need for surgeons to peer into a microscope during hours-long operations by tilting their heads downward, and eases the physical burden on doctors compared with conventional microscopes, according to the researchers.