Virtual non-invasive biopsy can detect certain cancers
Posted by evolvingwheel on January 19, 2008
One medical physics researcher from the Queensland University of Technology has developed a new method that can diagnose certain surface cancers in a non-invasive and accurate manner. Jye Smith from the School of Physical and Chemical Sciences has developed a tool using bioimpedance spectroscopy to diagnose cervical and skin cancers. The innovative part of this invention is the nature of the usage of this technology and how it was adopted for a more critical but beneficial application. Bioimpedance spectroscopy is used in gyms to measure one’s body fat by passing electrical signals through the tissues/muscles. According to Mr. Smith, “It offers the possibility of a simple device that can be run over the surface of the skin or internal organ that can quickly, cheaply and accurately record changes in cellular structure that point to cancerous changes.”
Smith and his team have run experiments with the new device and have detected with greater accuracy not only the boundaries of lesions but also the extent of growth and progression of cancer cells. The impedance detects changes in cell structures and provides this knowledge to clinicians to detect the type and location of legions. The non-invasive nature of the diagnosis makes this concept more path-breaking. No, we have to wait and see how Smith takes this development outside the lab and commercializes it for real use. However, before that, he needs to cross several hurdles as far as the efficacy of the practice could be determined. Read the new [here].
My one other area of interest is the international development of medical diagnostics and their penetration in non-origin countries. How does a commercial medical product (device) enters a new geographical market with different economic, political, and social tenets? Is it possible only through joint ventures? More interesting is the challenge of moving an invention to realization through complicated regulating agencies of different parts of the world. If the time-delay to realization is high, how would cross border invention benefit communities globally?
Picture: Courtesy QUT