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A Microscope Could Detect Cancer By Scanning Skin

A Microscope Could Detect Cancer By Scanning Skin

Instead of taking a biopsy and waiting on the results to come back, doctors could someday use a special, flat microscope to scan the skin to check for skin cancer right there in their office.

German researchers have developed a microscope that can scan large areas. The team of researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF in Jena developed a flat, ultrathin microscope that records all of the image slices at the same time and compiles all of the slices into one image using a computer.

“Essentially, we can examine a field as large as we want. At five micrometers, the resolution is similar to that of a scanner,” IOF’s Frank Wippermann said in a statement.

The imaging system contains three stacked glass plates with the tiny lenses attached to them, for a total of eight lenses that allows light to slip through. Researchers have designed a 42mm by 36mm prototype with 9,000 lens channels. On the flip side, the process, the scientists say, is scalable and similar to stamping. But it won’t go into production for a couple more years.

However, the microscope isn’t just for scanning skin. It might soon check to see if documents you have are the real thing – and act as the true test for authenticity.


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