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Developing non-invasive detection for cancer

Researchers at Optical Imaging Lab are developing non-invasive early detection for cancer

Researchers at the Optical Imaging Laboratory, part of the biomedical engineering program in Texas A&M University's Industrial Engineering Department, work on developing a non-invasive early detection procedure for cancerous tissue.

The new technique, called ultrasound-modulated laser tomography, produces a 3-D image similar to a CT scan. It can locate tumors buried up to 4 inches under the skin's surface. Cancerous tissue deflects and absorbs light differently than normal tissue. This light scattering makes it difficult to optically image tissue. To overcome the problem, researchers at the lab combined ultrasound with low-powered lasers.

Current research at the lab involves measuring changes in the optical properties of simulated tissue samples. The researchers hope to apply these results to real-world problems in diagnosis and monitoring, beginning with breast cancer detection.

This research was supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation's Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) program (grant BES 97-34491). (Year of image: 1998)

Credit: Texas A&M University

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