New needle device to revolutionize biopsies and reduce scarring
The microbiopsy device was developed by an Australian research team
Research team at the University of South Australia has created a new needle device that will revolutionize how doctors test patients for rashes and diseases.
The microbiopsy device is a small needle that can take 100 to 200 cells to test for skin cancer and other diseases avoiding the need to take a 2cm to 3cm piece of tissue which results in some scarring, News Medical reports.
The team was led by research Professor at UniSA’s Future Industries Institute, Professor Tarl Prow.
Dr Prow says the device can take skin samples much more easily than a traditional biopsy and is easy and painless to use on children.
The innovation for this device comes from the idea of a diabetic test. We can easily take small skin samples which makes it much easier to use on children and allows us to take multiple samples over time to monitor a patient’s situation,” Prof Prow says.
“Given a standard biopsy is a significant procedure, we wanted to help make that process easier.”
The device has already proved a possible game changer in underprivileged countries with doctors from Jerusalem’s Hebrew University already taking 502 units to Africa to use in the field. “With many parasitic diseases in Africa, where people don’t have access to a hospital, researchers at Hebrew University undertook a study in northern Ethiopia testing hundreds of children and adults using the device,” he says.
We are planning to test the efficacy and safety for microbiopsy in skin cancer diagnosis that will start in early 2019 so some patients may be asked to be a part of this study. We hope to launch the approved diagnostic test in 2023,” Dr Prow says.