The virtual biopsy device in operation


courtesy of Rutgers

A Rutgers team has developed a virtual biopsy device that quickly determines the potential malignancy of skin lesions, according to a study in Skin Research and Technology. Physicians currently may not know until surgery is underway whether a patient requires a specialist for tissue removal or plastic surgery. Known as a vibrational optical coherence tomography, the experimental procedure evaluates a lesion’s properties by creating a 3-D map using a tiny laser diode and soundwaves. “It’s a significant improvement over surgical biopsies, which  are invasive, expensive, and time consuming,” says lead researcher Frederick Silver, a professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.