• Non-invasive  Cancer  Detection  System  Uses Sensing Ocean Optics Expertise

Chromatography

Non-invasive Cancer Detection System Uses Sensing Ocean Optics Expertise

Dec 20 2005

A spectroscopy system from optical sensing specialist Ocean Optics BV forms the basis of a new, real-time, non-invasive cancer detection system currently undergoing clinical trials. The CancerScanner? technology uses an Ocean Optics system consisting of light source, probe and spectrometer to detect in vivo, rather than in the lab, alterations of cells from normal to pre-cancerous and cancerous conditions.

Developed by the Bioscience Division of the U.S. Department of Energy, the technology has been licensed to, and further developed by, SpectraPath Technologies. It is hoped that the system will allow physicians to screen patients quickly, providing instant diagnoses, without requiring invasive and time-consuming biopsies for skin, cervical, brain, oesophageal and colorectal cancers.

At the heart of the system is a USB2000 palm sized spectrometer. It is used to analyse the elastic light scattering (ELS) spectrum produced by cellular nuclei. An LS-1 Tungsten Halogen Light Source and single optical fibre probe are used to illuminate the tissue surface. The probe then captures the resulting ELS spectrum. Larger nuclei in cancerous and pre-cancerous cells cause different ELS spectra from normal nuclei.

The CancerScanner? has so far been successfully tested in both animals and humans for a variety of cancer types. It is small, lightweight, and will be economically practical for hospitals, physician offices and patient services centres.

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