A new medical device that helps detect cancerous tumours on the skin even before they are visible to the naked eye has been developed at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel.

The device, OSPI, uses safe levels of radiation when projected at the tumour and returns data back to the gadget measuring its character, including its contours and spread.

It uses liquid crystals to carry out the examination, displayed new textures of lesions that have never been seen before, including melanoma, during the initial test at Soroka University Medical Center.

Ofir Aharon, a doctoral student at the University who developed the device, said the technology might allow manipulation of different light frequencies and adjustments to electric fields to examine skin lesions and cells arrangements.

“We believe the instrument will allow us to identify microscopic tumours in the biological layers of the skin. There is still much work ahead of us and a vast number of patients need to be examined to build statistical conclusions,” Aharon said.

UT Southwestern’s cardiovascular and thoracic surgery associate professor Dr Michael DiMaio said with the device patients have more mobility because they don’t have an external ventilator to carry around, and the surgery to implant the device is less invasive than previous treatments.