A prototype developed by Colombian researchers to examining the mammary glands without radiation has good diagnostic capabilities, is safe, non-invasive, more economical than those in the market and easy to use, according to one of the developers, Esteban Amézquita, physical engineer of the National University of Colombia (UNAL).
“Considering that the device works without any ionizing radiation, it can be recommended for use both in hospitalized patients and in outdevelop a patient consultations, in prenatal clinics and in maternity hospitals,” he explained.
Each type of tissue in the breast has a different electrical conductivity profile. For example, regular cancer tissues are 10 to 60 times more conductive than other tissues. This variation is used for micro-classification of breast tissues using electrical conductivity profile, allowing the detection of abnormalities that occur in the breasts, including cancer.
“Through the process of electrical impedance, the breasts are scanned to measure their electrical conductivity, based on the idea that cancer cells are different from normal cells. For the test about eight small electrodes are placed on the skin and a very small electric current is applied through the breast, which is then detected on the skin. The team does not use radiation or compress the breasts,” explained Amézquita.
Cheaper and lighter
Although there are already electrical impedance mammograms in the market, their high cost and great weight makes them difficult to access. The prototype proposed by UNAL will cost about US$200 and will not weigh more than one pound, says the researcher.
The objective of the device is to offer an alternative screening complementary to mammography and ultrasound, which can be used in patients of all ages who have symptoms of any pathology, or with an identified genetic load.
Source: Agencia ID