Because mammography is not widely available in some regions especially for women in developing countries, a new device was introduced to perform breast cancer screening and early detection of the disease.
This device is a non-invasive, radiation-free, portable system, which was developed by Dr. Wan Shih with Dr. Wei-Heng Shih and their team at Drexel University. The device is used for breast cancer detection based on measurements of tissue elasticity. UE Life Sciences, a Philadelphia-based medical device company will soon start marketing the new technology and will provide effective and sustainable breast cancer detection solutions.
Wan Shih, a breast cancer survivor herself, said "this procedure will help detect breast cancers early in young women especially women in Asia because they have low rates of survivors as breast cancers are typically found in late stages". Shih's project was supported in 2009 by the Wallace H. Coulter Translational Research Program at Drexel University. The QED Program is the first multi-institutional program for new scientific technologies in life. About 180 proposals have been screened and filtered by this program to 30, in addition to six awards that have been given to scientists at Drexel University, the University of Pennsylvania, Rutgers University, and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Later this year, three more technologies will receive awards. Shih's project also is the second one that receives license and her team was recognized and appreciated by QED Business Advisor, Susan Maley.
Science Center President & CEO Stephen S. Tang comments "We're pleased to have the seconed licensed QED technology. As breast cancer is early diagnosed it can be easily treated".
The new device includes comprising piezoelectric finger (PEF) sensors which can detect very small displacements at the surface. In order to determine the elastic modulus or shear modulus these displacements are converted into electrical signals, then these modulus behave as sensors of tissue stiffness in compression or in shear. By continuous measurement of both shear and compression stiffness small tumors can be detected and enable us to differentiate between cancers and non-cancerous lumps.