A Supercontinuum Laser for Fast Detection of Skin Cancer

The new LC-OCT medical imaging device, introduced by Damae Medical, uses NKT Photonics SuperK supercontinuum white light laser to detect skin cancer at an early stage, faster, cheaper, and without the need for biopsies. It eliminates unnecessary surgery and it saves lives.

The LC-OCT diagnostics system for onco-dermatology will be released for sale later this year. (Source: Damae Medical)

Skin cancer is the most frequent cancer type and it is becoming increasingly common. Currently, a doctor or dermatologist makes a diagnosis, starting with a visual examination of the skin surface. If they observe anything suspicious, they take out a biopsy. The biopsy is examined under a microscope to determine if cancer cells are present.

The current method is not ideal. It is painful, costly, time-consuming, and unreliable to some extent: around sixty percent of the biopsies do not show signs of cancer while around twenty percent of skin cancers are missed at an early stage.

The LC-OCT device is a new handheld imaging probe that looks deep into the skin, both the dermis and epidermis, in real-time. The device offers high-resolution images to the dermatologist who immediately can tell cancer cells from healthy cells. It’s reliable, painless, fast, and inexpensive.

New medical imaging device replaces biopsies

Damae Medical has developed the device based on the line-field confocal optical coherence tomography (LC-OCT) imaging technology, powered by the SuperK supercontinuum laser from NKT Photonics. The broad spectrum of light from the SuperK laser enables to deliver high-resolution images that replace the need for biopsies. Instead, LC-OCT produces “optical biopsies”.

The two companies have worked together under the Eurostar financing program to combine the cutting-edge LC-OCT technology, developed by Damae Medical, with the innovative supercontinuum laser technology provided by NKT Photonics.

The LC-OCT imaging device can see deep into the skin. (click to enlarge; source: Damae Medical / NKT Photonics)

Anaïs Barut, CEO of Damae Medical, explains, “This cooperation is the natural extension of a fruitful collaboration initiated three years ago with the development of LC-OCT. The project has paved the way for the industrial scale-up of an unprecedented combination of technologies in the field of medical imaging.”

“It is truly exciting to see how our SuperK white light lasers are enabling this entirely new field of medical imaging. With their broad white light, they ensure the high-resolution images dermatologists need”, says Jesper Toft Olesen, Product Line Manager at NKT Photonics. “Damae’s cutting-edge device can save lives and we are proud to deliver the advanced lasers that make it all possible.“

Throughout Europe, Damae Medical is currently undergoing clinical trials to validate the accuracy of LC-OCT diagnostics in onco-dermatology. It will be released for sale later this year.

In NKT Photonics’ booth at Photonics West, you can see a live presentation of the LC-OCT device and meet the developers. You can also see a demonstration and meet the people behind the SuperK white light laser. It’s at booth #3201. (Source: NKT)

Links: LC-OCT, a novel imaging technology, DAMAE Medical, Paris, FranceSupercontinuum white light lasers, NKT Photonics A/S, Birkerød, Denmark

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