Sep 21, 2018 | Updated: 04:34 PM EDT

Handheld Scanner Device Successfully Unveils Important Psoriasis Data Without Radiation Exposure

Jun 05, 2017 04:11 AM EDT

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Having psoriasis is said to be difficult since contrast agents or radiation exposure are present when the disease is being detected. However, a study was identified to invent a tissue scanner that gives important information on skin layers and blood vessels of those psoriasis patients without the aforementioned risks.

According to Science Daily, Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin disease that affects ten to fifteen million people in the European Union. Doctors were mentioned to find difficulty when evaluating a patient with psoriasis. Luckily, a team of researchers found out a way to aid professionals in detecting the disease through gathering information before treatment as the current method of doctors seem to miss all parameters beneath the skin.

Researchers from the Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen, a German Research Centre for Environmental Health and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) then developed a small scanner device which could give critical data in psoriasis patients. The device was identified to be reduced into a tissue scanner called as the raster-scan optoacoustic mesoscopy (RSOM). The process of the scanner to gather data from psoriasis patients involves a weak laser pulse that entices the tissue of the skin.

Afterward, the interaction causes energy absorption and minimal heat in the tissue selected. The momentary tissue expansion is said to generate ultrasound waves. The ultrasound waves are enlarged by the scientists to a high-resolution image in order to discover what lies beneath the skin infected with psoriasis as reported by The Engineer.

"This technology, which is easy to use and does not involve any radiation exposure or contrast agent, is allowing us to acquire the first new insights into the disease mechanisms. It also facilitates treatment decisions for the physicians," director of the IBMI at the Helmholtz Zentrum München and Chair of Biological Imaging at the Technical University of Munich, Prof. Dr. Vasilis Ntziachristos explained.

Nonetheless, the RSOM scanner successfully detected the skin thickness, capillary density, number of vessels, and total blood volume in the skin tissue of psoriasis patients. The team further aims to use the same technique as well in other diseases like skin cancer or diabetes in the future. If the scanner detects early damaged cells, earlier treatment for the diseases could be allowed. The study was published in the Nature Biomedical Engineering.

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