Centre d’innovació i Tecnologia BARCELONATECH

Improving diagnosis of skin cancer through photonics

Skin cancer is one of the most common variants of the disease, and has a special emphasis on young people. For diagnosis, doctors usually use visual inspection and digital dermoscopy.
Providing an earlier and more accurate diagnosis and prognosis of these injuries through new photonic techniques is the aim of DIAGNOPTICS, a European project provided with a total budget of 4.7 million euros, leaded by researchers of the Centre of Sensors, instruments and Systems Development (CD6) , member of the UPC Technology Center (CIT  UPC) . The project has 6 partners more and is scheduled to end in late 2016.

As in other diseases , the diagnostic phase is essential for an accurate facing of the problem and  get an appropriate treatment to address evaluation. With that premise , CD6 UPC researchers work on the development of a series of non-invasive optical techniques that facilitate the task of both dermatologists and surgeons .

3D images by fringe projection , hyperspectral imaging , laser images for blood flow measurements and confocal microscopy, are some of the techniques that researchers made available to health professionals to carry out the test in real patients . When the project succeeds, the result will be a set of techniques based on photonics that will allow a more precise diagnosis faster and objective with current protocols.

This work involves ten physicians at the Hospital Clínic of Barcelona and the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, and a total of 600 patients will be evaluated with a volunteer pilot system . The researchers expect to obtain diagnostic equipment to reach 99 % accuracy in the analysis of the injury examined.