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Innovative Device Provides for Faster Skin Biopsies

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 19 May 2015
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Image: Prototype of the UC3M device (Photo courtesy Universidad Carlos III de Madrid).
Image: Prototype of the UC3M device (Photo courtesy Universidad Carlos III de Madrid).
A new tool for performing skin biopsies requires neither local anesthesia nor specialized personnel, resulting in faster diagnosis of pathologies.

Developed by researchers at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M; Spain) and Hospital Ramón y Cajal (Madrid, Spain), the new, automated device is an ergonomic sectional biopsy tool which makes it possible to obtain a skin sample using only one instrument. The cylindrical-shaped device is placed on the suspected area; once in position and firmly against the skin, a button is pressed, making a quick incision and removing the tissue sample automatically within a matter of minutes.

“This invention will aid in earlier detection of pathologies such as skin cancer and will also allow doctors to see a greater number of patients, which is of the utmost importance in fields such as dermatology,” said dermatologist Emiliano Grillo, MD, of Ramón y Cajal Hospital. “In a doctor’s office overwhelmed by demand, the invention would make it possible for the patient to leave the doctor’s office with the diagnostic tests already done, and to begin earlier treatment if necessary.”

Currently a skin biopsy involves cutting the base layer of the skin manually, removing it with forceps, and sewing up the incision with one or two stitches that later have to be removed. The procedure is performed under local anesthetic and takes around 30 minutes.

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Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
Hospital Ramón y Cajal

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