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Device Created for Faster Skin Biopsies Without Anesthesia

Biopsy time reduced from half an hour to less than 5 minutes

Currently, a skin biopsy involves cutting the basal layer of the skin manually, removing it with forceps, and sewing up the incision with one or two stitches.

Now, scientists in Spain have developed an ergonomic device that makes it possible to obtain a skin sample using a single instrument. The new device makes the incision and removes the tissue with a simple click, according to its inventors at Carlos III University of Madrid.

With the new tool, the length of a skin biopsy procedure can be shortened from a half hour to less than 5 minutes. Neither local anesthesia nor specially trained personnel are required.

Moreover, the invention will aid in earlier detection of pathologies, such as skin cancer, and will allow doctors to see more patients, which is an important factor in fields such as dermatology, where patient demand can be overwhelming, says dermatologist Dr. Emiliano Grillo. In Grillo’s opinion, the new instrument 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.”

A prototype of the device is protected by a patent application and is ready for demonstrations, according to researcher Dr. Cristina Castejón. Manufacturers of medical equipment are being sought to develop the product.

Source: Universidad Carlos III de Madrid; May 7, 2015.

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