A surgical pen developed by University of Texas scientists that detects cancerous molecules on patients during operations and was featured on "Grey's Anatomy" has won an award at South by Southwest Festival.

The MasSpec pen delivers results to surgeons in about 10 seconds. It is a handheld, disposable tool, and it's about 150 times faster than existing technology for detecting cancerous tissue.

The pen was developed by a team led by chemistry professor Livia Eberlin at UT.


UT surgical pen detects cancerous tissue, featured on 'Grey's Anatomy'

Eberlin and her team won a SXSW Interactive Innovation Award in the Health, Med and Biotech category for the MasSpec pen and beat out competitors from Georgia, Virginia, California and Austin.

“This is special for our team because South by Southwest is an Austin event, and the MasSpec Pen is something that we developed in Austin,” said Eberlin. “We’re thankful that the judges and the public are excited about this technology.”

The MasSpec Pen came out on top of technology including an exoskeleton vest for construction workers that reduces fatigue and injury, an augmented reality physical therapy device and an Austin-based project to use music to help people walk again.

You can see how "Grey's Anatomy" producers used the pen by tuning in to ABC at 7 p.m. March 14.