Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UWE experts develop skin cancer detection tool

09.11.2007
Engineering experts from the University of the West of England are working on the development of a skin analyser tool that will help enable doctors to diagnose malignant melanoma and other dermatological conditions such as burn severity.

Recent sponsorship to the tune of £650K has been awarded to the consortium composed of UWE, Frenchay Hospital and Astron Clinica Ltd. by the DTI Technology Programme to fund this project entitled 'PhotoDerm'.

Skin Cancer incidence has been growing since the 1930's with current figures showing 6,000 people diagnosed and 1,600 dying in the UK alone every year.

One of the problems facing primary health care practitioners is that most do not have the specialist expertise to enable an accurate diagnosis of skin cancer so most patients are referred to specialist units in hospitals. As the vast majority of referrals are found to be non-malignant the diagnosis of skin cancer is costly to the NHS as specialists spend significant time on diagnosis.

This could soon be set to change thanks to a novel application by experts in photometric stereo imaging or 3D imaging at UWE's Machine Vision Laboratory, part of the Centre for Innovative Manufacturing and Machine Vision Systems (CIMMS). Dr Melvyn Smith, Director of CIMMS at UWE explains, “We are collaborating with Astron Clinica and specialists at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol to produce a new low cost hand held skin analyser tool that will improve the vision of the clinician. We aim to make explicit the characteristics of the appearance of the skin that are not obvious to the naked eye. This will make it easier for a non specialist to make an early diagnosis.

“The skin analyser tool will also be useful in burns units as the 3D imaging will enable specialists to assess severity of burns through enabling clearer observation of burn depth. The tool builds on previous research by academics in CIMMS who developed a rather cumbersome tool some years ago. We aim to refine the principles adopted in the earlier model so that the imaging available to the practitioners is easier to observe.

“The 'Skin Analyser' prototype looks a little bit like a hair dryer which is positioned over the affected area of skin. A high resolution camera is directed at the skin and light shines from six different light sources surrounding the lense to give an illusion of 3 D when the image is observed on a computer screen via a USB link. This is called 6-light photometric stereo and we intend to develop this idea by fusing this information with a hand held spectrometer developed by Astron Clinica.

Skin cancer experts at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol have working with the UWE team to help ensure that the tool they develop fits the needs of practitioners. Mr Robert Warr, Consultant Plastic Surgeon specialising in malignant melanoma thinks that the skin analyser may have the potential to be very useful in assisting future diagnosis by non specialists, he said, “If successful, this tool will help both the general practitioner and the specialist in differentiating between benign and malignant lesions of the skin. Skin cancer is becoming increasingly common and any device aiding this often difficult diagnosis would certainly be extremely valuable.

Dr Smith concludes, “It is anticipated that the skin analyser may ultimately provide primary health care practitioners and hospitals with a low cost tool that will save lives as more health professionals will be able to assist in accurate diagnosis without unnecessary referral to specialist skin cancer units in hospitals.”

Lesley Drake | alfa
Further information:
http://www.uwe.ac.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Discovery shows promise for treating Huntington's Disease
05.08.2020 | Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

nachricht Carbon monoxide improves endurance performance
05.08.2020 | Universität Bayreuth

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: ScanCut project completed: laser cutting enables more intricate plug connector designs

Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT have come up with a striking new addition to contact stamping technologies in the ERDF research project ScanCut. In collaboration with industry partners from North Rhine-Westphalia, the Aachen-based team of researchers developed a hybrid manufacturing process for the laser cutting of thin-walled metal strips. This new process makes it possible to fabricate even the tiniest details of contact parts in an eco-friendly, high-precision and efficient manner.

Plug connectors are tiny and, at first glance, unremarkable – yet modern vehicles would be unable to function without them. Several thousand plug connectors...

Im Focus: New Strategy Against Osteoporosis

An international research team has found a new approach that may be able to reduce bone loss in osteoporosis and maintain bone health.

Osteoporosis is the most common age-related bone disease which affects hundreds of millions of individuals worldwide. It is estimated that one in three women...

Im Focus: AI & single-cell genomics

New software predicts cell fate

Traditional single-cell sequencing methods help to reveal insights about cellular differences and functions - but they do this with static snapshots only...

Im Focus: TU Graz Researchers synthesize nanoparticles tailored for special applications

“Core-shell” clusters pave the way for new efficient nanomaterials that make catalysts, magnetic and laser sensors or measuring devices for detecting electromagnetic radiation more efficient.

Whether in innovative high-tech materials, more powerful computer chips, pharmaceuticals or in the field of renewable energies, nanoparticles – smallest...

Im Focus: Tailored light inspired by nature

An international research team with Prof. Cornelia Denz from the Institute of Applied Physics at the University of Münster develop for the first time light fields using caustics that do not change during propagation. With the new method, the physicists cleverly exploit light structures that can be seen in rainbows or when light is transmitted through drinking glasses.

Modern applications as high resolution microsopy or micro- or nanoscale material processing require customized laser beams that do not change during...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2020”: The final touches for surfaces

23.07.2020 | Event News

Conference radar for cybersecurity

21.07.2020 | Event News

Contact Tracing Apps against COVID-19: German National Academy Leopoldina hosts international virtual panel discussion

07.07.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rare Earth Elements in Norwegian Fjords?

06.08.2020 | Earth Sciences

Anode material for safe batteries with a long cycle life

06.08.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Turning carbon dioxide into liquid fuel

06.08.2020 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>