A collaborative research effort between Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) and the Institute for Health Research of the Hospital “Ramón y Cajal” (IRYCIS; both Madrid, Spain) has resulted in the patenting of a new device for performing skin biopsies. This new device presents a possibility for faster diagnosis of diseases such as skin cancer.
The automated skin biopsy device shortens procedure times from 30 minutes to >5 minutes and reduces the number of instruments that are required. Furthermore, specialist staff and local anesthesia are also not required.
Jesús Meneses, one of the inventors of the device from the MAQLAB Research Group at the UC3M , explained that a simple click is all that is required to obtain a viable sample, making the process much less invasive than current procedures.
Along with the earlier detection of diseases such as skin cancer, the new device will also enable doctors to see higher volumes of patients, which is important in high-demand areas such as dermatology. Emiliano Grillo from the IRYCIS explained the device would: “make it possible for the patient to leave the doctor’s office with the diagnostic tests already done, and to begin treatment earlier if necessary.”
At present a prototype device is ready for demonstrations and a patent application is in progress. Juan Carlos García Prada from the MAQLAB Research Group is exploring ways to increase the social impact of the invention, and values the collaboration between the UC3M and the IRYCIS, stating: “In this case, it was the UC3M Science Park who informed us about the needs of doctors at the IRYCIS so that we could consider collaborating on a joint project, and we are proud of the result.”