Low-cost ‘cancer probe’ could spot deadly melanoma early

Source: Medical Express, March 2019

Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, is diagnosed in more than 130,000 people globally every year. Now, work is being done on a tool to help in its early detection: a simple, compact laser probe that can distinguish between harmless moles and cancerous ones—in a matter of seconds.

“With , there’s a saying that if you can spot it you can stop it—and that’s exactly what this probe is designed to do,” said researcher Daniel Louie, a Ph.D. student who constructed the device as part of his studies in biomedical engineering at the University of British Columbia. “We set out to develop this technology using inexpensive materials, so the final device would be easy to manufacture and widely used as a preliminary screening tool for skin cancer.”

The probe works on the principle that light waves change as they pass through objects. The researchers aimed a laser into skin tissue from volunteer patients and studied the changes that occurred to this .

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