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Electrical Impedance Sensing Biopsy Sampling Device and Method

Prostate cancer is exceedingly common in older men, a population also plagued by many benign prostate lesions including benign hypertrophy. Distinguishing between non-cancerous lesions and malignant neoplasms of the prostate is a crucial step in the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer.

When taking biopsies, it can be difficult to ensure that the sample obtained derives from the inclusion itself and not from adjacent, healthy, tissue. Misdiagnosis, and inappropriate treatment may occur when nearby non-cancerous tissue is sampled instead of the potentially neoplastic lesion. State-of-the-art image guided procedures such as CT-guided and MRI-guided biopsy techniques are time-consuming, costly, require the use of large bulky machines, and unfortunately still often miss sampling cancerous lesions.

Dartmouth engineers and surgeons have developed an innovative real-time guided biopsy sampling device to improve the detection of malignant cancers. This new technique uses Electrical Impedance Sensing to both guide biopsy sampling and to gauge impedance differences within the prostate. Electrical Impedance Sensing eliminates the need for large CT and MRI machines, reduces the number of repeat procedures required due to inconclusive conventional biopsy findings, provides real-time diagnostic information, is more cost-effective, and results in an improved overall diagnostic capability.

Malignant tumors and non-cancerous tissues have different and distinguishable properties of electrical conductance which can be used to differentiate between cancerous and non-cancerous tissues. Upon observation of a change in electrical impedance, a biopsy sample of the inclusion can be captured and followed by pathological examination to determine the diagnosis. Since impedance differs between benign and malignant prostate lesions, this new and innovative technique both increases the chance that biopsy samples will derive from a lesion, and assists in detecting un-sampled malignant lesions in a region proximate a sample.

This technology is claimed in a pending patent application. We are seeking an industrial partner for the continued development and commercialization of this technology. (Ref: J451)

Last Updated: 7/24/12