Speeding Up Cancer Diagnosis At The Fraunhofer Institut für Physikalische Messtechnik
6/8/2010 7:47:03 AM
Medical News Today -- Early detection is the key to the successful treatment of cancer. But not every lump turns out to be a malignant tumor. To find out whether cancerous cells are present, doctors usually conduct a biopsy and examine the removed tissue under the microscope. This process is not only very stressful for the patient but also highly time consuming. Research scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems IPMS in Dresden are aiming to considerably speed up cancer diagnosis. They have developed a microscope head with a diameter of just eight millimeters which can optically resolve and magnify tissue cells measuring just 10 to 20 micrometers. Fitted in the tip of an endoscope it will be used for in vivo cancer diagnosis, inserted in the body as in a minimally invasive surgical operation. The scientists envision that the MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical system) microscope head will eliminate the need for biopsies. Diagnosis in real time would enable doctors to decide on the necessary course of treatment more quickly.