Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Skin Cancer Wand

PostedAugust 17, 2014

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Anchor Lead: If you’ve spent time outside in the Sun this summer, you might want have a doctor check your skin for abnormalities. Engineers are working on a device that could help.

Randy Atkins: Doctors decide which skin lesions to biopsy based solely on what they look like. But James Tunnell, a University of Texas engineer, is developing a tool that finds hidden signs of cancer…

James Tunnell: …at the microscopic level and even the molecular level as tissues go from being normal to cancerous.

Randy Atkins: It looks like a pen, but illuminates the skin with three different types of light…and collects the light bouncing back.

James Tunnell: There’s algorithms that we’ve developed that analyze that light to tell you features of the tissue that are indicative of cancer…

Randy Atkins: …so doctors can be better informed before they use the knife. With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP News.

Anchor Tag: It will likely be three-to-five years before you’ll see the device in your doctor’s office.