"Electronic skin" could dramatically improve breast cancer detection
Scientists at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln are working on developing "electronic skin," which they say could be used to detect hard-to-find lumps of potentially cancerous breast tissue.
The electronic device is made from nanoparticles and polymers and work by creating images of features within breast tissue. The researchers tested the device by placing lump-like objects within a piece of silicone, to which they then applied the electronic skin device.
The researchers found that the electronic skin was able to identify lumps as small as five mm and as deep within the silicone as 20 mm. Such measurements would be difficult to detect in conventional breast cancer screening methods, including mammography and clinical breast exams (CBE), the researchers said.
The study's findings, published in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, suggest that the electronic device may not only be used to help detect breast cancer, but may also be helpful in looking for early signs of melanoma and other cancers.