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Psoriasis Scanner Gets Under the Skin

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Blonde woman examining skin on arm

German scientists believe they have found a method of eliminating the subjective nature of psoriasis examinations—researchers have developed a handheld device that can scan beneath the skin to monitor the disease without any radiation exposure or contrast agent.

“[This technology] allows us to acquire the first new insights into the disease mechanisms. It also facilitates treatment decisions for the physicians,” —Vasilis Ntziachristos, IBMI director at Helmholtz Zentrum München and chair of biological imaging at Technical University of Munich

While current evaluations for psoriasis are based on visuals of the skin’s surface, the scanner uses raster-scan optoacoustic mesocopy (RSOM) technology that creates high-resolution images of the workings of the skin; this includes the emitting of weak laser pulses to heat the examined tissue, causing the tissue to momentarily expand and generate ultrasound waves.

In psoriasis patients, scientists were able to determine skin thickness, capillary density and blood vessels and volume in patient cutaneous and subcutaneous tissue. Researchers hope to utilize the technology for skin cancer and diabetes assessment in the future.

“This technology … allows us to acquire the first new insights into the disease mechanisms. It also facilitates treatment decisions for the physicians,” said Vasilis Ntziachristos, IBMI director at Helmholtz Zentrum München and chair of biological imaging at Technical University of Munich.

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