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Home Industry News Photoacoustic imaging method offers new breast cancer scan potential

Photoacoustic imaging method offers new breast cancer scan potential

22nd June 2017

A new study has demonstrated the potential benefits of using photoacoustic imaging as a means of accelerating breast cancer diagnoses.

Developed by the University of Twente in the Netherlands, the new method combines laser and photonic scanning techniques with ultrasound, with a prototype scanning device set to be produced by 2021.

For this approach, the patient would lie face-down on a bed, placing their breast into a hemispherical bowl lined with around 100 optical fibres that send short pulses of light towards the suspected lesion.

The scattering and selective absorption of the light by blood in the tumour site is converted into thermal energy and a resulting pressure wave, which can then be identified by ultrasound detectors that are also built into the system.

This allows the location of the acoustic pressure to be reconstructed, providing a 3D map of the presence of the tumour vasculature inside the breast. The system can also be used to analyse oxygen levels in the blood around the suspected tumour.

Project coordinator Srirang Manohar said: "The imager will be noninvasive, will not require contrast agents, nor use ionising radiation. Furthermore, the patient will feel no pain or discomfort."

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