Electronic Skin Could Improve Early Breast Cancer Detection

Electronic Skin Could Improve Early Breast Cancer Detection
am-2014-046789_0005In a study entitled “Tactile Imaging of an Imbedded Palpable Structure for Breast Cancer Screening”, published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, a group of researchers has developed an "electronic skin" that can feel and image small lumps that may not be detected through manual palpation, this way aiming to overcome the lacunas in manual breast exams, which seem to be low-tech when compared to other methods such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Their device was tested on a breast model made of silicone, and could potentially allow physicians to know the size and shape of a lump, leading to early identification of breast cancer and resulting in more efficient treatments that could ultimately save lives. Lead authors Ravi F. Saraf and Chieu Van Nguyen, from the University of Nebraska, point out that even though early diagnosis of breast cancer is a necessity, small masses of cancer cells are not easy to identify. Methods currently used in the clinic include MRI and ultrasounds that although sensitive, can be expensive. Additionally, mammography is imperfect, especially for testing young women or women with dense breast tissue. Clinical breast exams performed by physicians as a
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