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Latvian scientists find new way to detect skin tumors

University of Latvia (LU) Biophotonics Institute studies lasers and laser processes in human skin. This study will allow for easier detection of skin tumors, Latvian Television reported February 4.

"A new method for determining the photon distribution path in diffuse reflexia" is the study carried out by LU experts. According to the scientists, it is  complicated but a very valuable study that is likely to be widely used in the medical sector in the future.

The head of the LU Laboratory, Jānis Spīgulis, explained the process: “We use lasers in the Laboratory to study different processes in the skin. If we light our skin, part of the light also penetrates the inside of our skin. What comes back is the so-called diffuse reflection. The question is, if the photon goes into the skin, travels there for a long time and then goes out, what path it has taken.”

So far, scientists around the world haven't been able to determine and prove this path through systematic experimental measurements. After several years of studies, an answer has been found in Latvia. To do this, the researchers conducted tests with 150 people, analyzing their skin condition.

Vanesa Lukinsone, lead researcher of the biophotonics laboratory, said: “Statistical measurements were made with patients. Patients with skin tumors came. Measurements have not only been made on whole skin, but also on these tumor to determine whether or not there is a difference between the lengths of the path.”

Studies have been conducted with different methods.

“When the data is measured, we store them on a database. For each measurement, we see the entrance impulse and outbound impulse. From these parameters we get diagnostic parameters that describe the state of skin health,” researcher Uldis Rubīns said.

 “We got new data that will be useful to the whole world, obviously, because the skin is more or less the same for most people.”

These data will be used in the future in the manufacture of medical equipment, replacing the usual invasive methods for detecting skin tumors. The first prototypes for such equipment have already been produced in Latvia.

 

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