Current Surgical develops a ‘smart’ needle to treat cancerous tumors •

by Ana Lopez

DC-based Current Surgical announced a $3.2 million seed this week. The round, which brings the company’s total proceeds to $4 million, was led by True Ventures and consists of 1517 Fund and SciFounders. It will be used in part to modestly grow the start-up’s team, hiring between 6 and 8 engineers over the next 24 months, focusing on a wide range of topics including electrical, mechanical and ultrasound.

“This seed funding gives us the capital we need to build our team to develop the clinical embodiment of our device, which we can then test with our clinical collaborators in a preclinical setting,” the company tells “We will also meet with the FDA to confirm regulatory protocols and testing for our technology.”

Current is working to produce a “smart needle” designed to treat cancerous tumors without more invasive surgery, which can damage surrounding organs, or chemotherapy and radiation, which carry their own respective drawbacks.

Image Credits: Current Surgical

The technology builds on the existing use of needles, which use a process called thermal ablation to destroy malignant masses, although such processes lack the precision of other methods.

“We are excited about our technology because we have the advantages of the small size of a needle, but with much higher precision, allowing us to accurately and confidently treat tumors anywhere in the body,” says Current. “To achieve this, we are developing a new technology stack that uses novel ultrasound sensors that allow the physician to see and destroy the tumor in real time without damaging the surrounding healthy anatomy.”

Image Credits: Current Surgical

Current was founded in 2020 by Alireza Mashal and Chris Wagner, medical professionals with previous startup experience, who are now the CEO and CTO, respectively. The team refers to their offering as “a software-based surgical platform,” which aims to treat additional conditions beyond tumors, including things like chronic pain, cardiac arrhythmias, and chronic pain.

“When we first met with investors in the summer, we noticed an anxiety that wasn’t there when we spoke to financiers during our pre-seed raise in late 2020 and early 2021,” the company says of the round. “Interestingly, this made it easier to identify investors (such as True Ventures) who can invest in high-potential long-term projects because they were not afraid of short-term uncertainty. As we are trying to change the paradigm in surgery, which does not fit in a 1-2 year time frame, we were delighted to find our investors who shared the same vision and ambition as we do.”

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