New radiation-free device to detect breast cancer

November 21, 2015

Not only is the device inexpensive and easy to use, but early results suggest it is highly sensitive, and able to provide clues as to whether a lump is benign or malignant, potentially eliminating some of the many biopsies performed every year. A hand-held probe comprising piezoelectric finger (PEF) sensors can detect very small forces and displacements at the surface. These are then converted to electrical signals to determine the elastic modulus or shear modulus, which serve as a precise indicator of tissue stiffness in compression or in shear. Simultaneous measurement of both shear and compression stiffness in the underlying breast tissue enables detection of very small tumors, and also differentiation of cancers from non-cancerous lumps. The device may have particular utility for women with dense breasts, such as Asian and younger women, for whom imaging procedures that rely on differences in tissue density are more challenging.

"The technology's potential to enhance the clinical breast exam while maintaining high specificity can be key in further empowering the women's health provider community," explains UE LifeSciences CEO Mihir Shah. "We are also interested in leveraging the technology's ability to provide non-invasive malignancy assessment; we envision market potential in developing regions and primary health centers around the world."

Source: Drexel University