- Recently,researchers from the United States have developed a ‘virtual biopsy’ device.
- The virtual biopsy device can quickly and non-invasively determine whether a skin tumour is cancerous and needs to be removed surgically.
- Currently,doctors who perform surgical biopsies often do not know the extent of a tumour and whether it will be necessary to refer the patient to a specialist for extensive tissue removal or plastic surgery until surgery has already begun.
- The virtual biopsy uses a procedure called vibrational optical coherence tomography(VOCT) which creates a 3D map of the legion’s width and depth under the skin with a tiny laser diode without using a scalpel.
- The procedure also makes use of soundwaves to test the lesion’s density and stiffness since cancer cells are stiffer than healthy cells.
- This ability to analyse a skin tumour non-invasively could make biopsies much less risky and distressing to patients.
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