Developed a new device for characterization of thyroid nodules

Created by researchers at Politecnico, it is part of the LUCA project, for new cancer screening techniques

The integration of the device for characterization of thyroid nodules, as part of the project H2020 LUCA (Laser and Ultrasound Co-analyzer for Thyroid Nodules) has been completed. The aim was to create a new low cost outpatient diagnostic tool for this type of cancers.

Thyroid cancer is a big health challenge, with about three hundred thousand new cases each year in the world. Current methods do not provide the right support to doctors in evaluating thyroid nodules; this means a significant number of unnecessary surgeries that result in severe discomfort for many patients. Therefore, greater sensitivity and specificity of the screening process is required.

LUCA addresses this need through a new device for characterization of thyroid nodules. The interdisciplinary team of Politecnico di Milano, led by prof. Davide Contini of the Department of Physics and by prof. Alberto Tosi of the Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering, has developed an optical device for non-invasive characterization of the tissue, which has been combined with a hybrid ultrasound-optical system for screening of thyroid nodules.

The researchers made the first measurements with the new device on 24 January 2019. The first in vivo tests were successful, with highly promising results. During this last year of the LUCA project, a feasibility study will be carried out on healthy volunteers and patients at the IDIBAPS hospital in Barcelona.

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