intellitech writes: After demonstrating that light accurately detected pre-cancerous cells in the lining of the esophagus, Duke University bioengineers turned their technology to the colon and have achieved similar results in a series of preliminary experiments. This method of cancer detection uses a technique known as angle-resolved low coherence interferometry (a/LCI). In this process, light is shined into a cell and sensors capture and analyze the light as it is reflected back. The technique separates the unique patterns of the nucleus from the other parts of the cell and provides representations of its changes in shape. Instead of taking tissue samples, the new system would aim short bursts of light from the tip of an endoscope at locations suspected of having disease. This technology could be a non-invasive way for physicians to detect abnormal cells, or dysplasia, which have the potential of turning cancerous. Current biopsy techniques require physicians to take many random tissue samples, and for some disorders of the colon, these procedures can be disfiguring and life-changing.
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