Some tumors develop just below the skin’s surface, and for a variety of medical reasons, doctors frequently decide not to remove them right away. Radiation therapy and medicine are typically used to treat these tumors. It is imperative in these circumstances that medical practitioners periodically measure the tumor’s size in order to gauge how well the treatments are working. For tests like MRIs to measure the tumor, patients usually need to go to a medical facility. Now, after successful testing on mice, researchers have developed a skin patch that can track the size of tumors that are just under the skin.

A less complicated technique to measure tumors just beneath the skin was found by researchers from Taipei Medical University and National Tsing Hua University in Hsinchu, Taiwan. Using a smartphone application, they created a skin patch that can measure tumor size continuously. Soft, elastic plastic with an adhesive on one side makes up the patch, which looks like a flexible sticker. The researchers added hafnium, a metal created by fusing silver and oxygen, to the plastic to turn this into a monitoring device. The plastic was combined with this metal after it was reduced to the size of 100 nm nanoparticles.

After the patch is placed over a tumor, the alignment of the nanoparticles and their electrical characteristics change, changing the patch’s characteristics and revealing the tumor’s size. This technology was validated by the researchers on mice that had tumors about the size of a grain of rice, and they discovered that the tumor size could be accurately monitored for up to one week. The research team hopes that after additional testing and clinical application, this patch will enable patients to keep a close eye on the status of their treatment. Furthermore, the information gathered by the smartphone app might be forwarded to their doctor on a daily basis, which could improve treatment monitoring and patient care.

Topics #Cancer Research #Medical #Skin Patch #Tumor