Dermatologists, while examining pigmented moles on skin with regard to cancer risk, most frequently perform the assessment using dermatoscope, a device with in-built illumination increasing the affected area. They pay particular attention to asymmetry of infiltration, differences in pigment and irregularities on the edges, and also try to watch the deeper structures. This activity is very important, because the likelihood of curing skin cancer depends on the tumor thickness. If it does not exceed 1 mm, then surgical removal of the skin lesion gives a chance even of a permanent recovery. However, the use of dermatoscope does not allow to measure the thickness and internal structure of inflitration precisely. Scientists from the University of Silesia and Medical University of Silesia have proposed an interesting solution to this problem. They jointly designed a special clip supporting the diagnostics of skin cancers, including malignant melanoma.
‘The device reminds of a common washing clip. We catch a fold of skin in the area where the mole appears. The emitted light beam is sent to numerous receivers located in one of the clip’s arms. This in turn allows to define the thickness of lesion and other parameters, as well as to decide about treatment or further observation’, says Assoc. Prof. Eng. Robert Koprowski, Professor of the University of Silesia, co-author of the utility model.
‘Thanks to this, diagnostics of skin cancers such as malignant melanoma will be quicker, subject to less errors and independent of the operator’, he adds.
The examination method proposed by the scientists is non-invasive and safe even for the affected areas. The clip can also be used for monitoring the progress of treatment both in hospital and domestic environment.
The authors of the utility model for which the protective rights have been granted are scientists from the Faculty of Science and Technology at the University of Silesia: Assoc. Prof. Eng. Robert Koprowski, Professor of the University of Silesia and Prof. Eng. Zygmunt Wróbel, as well as Assoc. Prof. Sławomir Wilczyński, Pharm.D., Professor of the Medical University of Silesia and Prof. Barbara Błońska-Fajfrowska, MD, PhD from the Medical University of Silesia in Katowice.