Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Landmine detection helping to fight breast cancer

09.03.2006


Scientists researching ways to detect landmines have discovered a radical new way to screen for breast cancer using microwave radar technology that could save thousands of lives.



Bristol-based Micrima Ltd, a spin-out from Bristol University, has received a £150,000 investment from NESTA (the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) to help the company develop this innovative technology. This is part of a funding round worth £475,000 with co-investment from private investors and Sulis, the University Challenge Fund managed by Quester.

Breast cancer is the most common cause of death in women between the ages of 35 and 55 in Europe. With approximately 500,000 deaths each year and 1.4 million new cases, one in eight women will contract the disease during their lifetime. One of the biggest challenges currently facing the medical profession is the early detection and accurate diagnosis of this disease which gives the best chances of recovery.


Each year 1.5 million women are screened for breast cancer in the UK. At present, breast cancer screening is carried out mainly by X-ray mammography which is more suitable for women over 50 when breast tissue is less fibrous. The new method needs no breast compression and the ‘radiation’ used is non-ionising unlike x-rays, which because of potential health effects, has to be used sparingly, and avoided where possible in younger women. In contrast, the radar method may be very suitable for younger women, and has absolutely no health detriment.

No single method is perfect but Micrima’s microwave radar technology has the potential to revolutionise breast screening as it can offer a quick method of imaging which may help avoid unnecessary and expensive biopsies.

The company’s innovative technology was originally developed for detecting buried landmines. Mine detection and breast screening share similar characteristics in that they both involve the discovery of a discrete object whose electrical properties are different from the surrounding medium. At microwave frequencies, tumours contrast well with normal breast tissue.

The investment round will fund the acquisition of first clinical data and further commercial and technical development. As part of the round, Roy Johnson will join Micrima as Executive Chairman. Roy is an experienced medical device and diagnostics executive, with over 25 years experience at senior and board level in both private and public international companies.

Mark White , NESTA Invention and Innovation Director, said: “This ground-breaking technology from Micrima is a great example of the kind of world-class technology in the UK our early stage seed funding is designed to support. Through investing in its innovative technology early on we are looking to ensure that this idea has every opportunity of being fully commercialised, benefiting so many thousands of women, those working in healthcare, and the UK economy."

Chief executive, Roy Johnson, added: “The half-million pound funding from NESTA and the SULIS seedcorn fund is a major step towards making this new screening programme available to all women.”

Joseph Meaney | alfa
Further information:
http://www.nesta.org.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Why might reading make myopic?
18.07.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Tübingen

nachricht Unique brain 'fingerprint' can predict drug effectiveness
11.07.2018 | McGill University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Machine-learning predicted a superhard and high-energy-density tungsten nitride

18.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

NYSCF researchers develop novel bioengineering technique for personalized bone grafts

18.07.2018 | Life Sciences

Why might reading make myopic?

18.07.2018 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>