31 July 2023

MIT has developed a portable ultrasound to diagnose breast cancer

MIT has developed a miniaturized ultrasound scanner that allows imaging at any time.

In hopes of improving survival rates for breast cancer patients, MIT researchers have developed a wearable ultrasound device. It finds tumors in their early stages.

When breast cancer is diagnosed in its early stages, the survival rate is almost 100%. However, for tumors that are detected at later stages, the rate drops to about 25%.

The device is a flexible patch that can be attached to a bra. It allows the wearer to move the ultrasound tracker along the patch and record the condition of the breast tissue from different angles. The resolution of the images is comparable to those obtained by ultrasound probes used in medical imaging centers.

To make the device wearable, the researchers developed a flexible 3D printed patch with honeycomb holes. The ultrasound scanner fits inside a small tracker that can be moved to six different positions to take pictures of the entire breast. The scanner can also be rotated to get images from different angles. Working with the device does not require any special skills, the scientists emphasize.

Breast tumors that develop between regularly scheduled mammograms account for 20 to 30% of all breast cancers. They tend to be more aggressive than those found during routine scans.

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