A New Device to Diagnose and Treat Diseases Without Cutting Through the Skin

Researchers from the University of British Colombia have devised a specialized microscope. It has the potential ability to diagnose diseases including skin cancer. Additionally, it can precisely perform surgery without having to cut the skin.

Multiphoton Excitation Microscope

Multiphoton Excitation

Case study

Yimei Huang, a co-lead author of the study said that the technology made it possible to quickly scan tissue. If we see a suspicious cell or an abnormal cell structure, it is possible to perform an ultra-precise surgery and treat the unwanted structure within tissue selectively.

The co-leaders of the study were Huang and Zhenguo Wu, who is a UBC Ph.D. student.

The device, a specialized kind of multiphoton excitation microscope, allows viewing of living tissue with the use of an ultrafast infrared laser beam. The Researcher’s microscope not only digitally scans living tissue but also treats the tissue. It does so by making the heat produced by the laser, intense.

Once applied in the treatment of diseases of the skin, the microscope makes it possible for medical professionals to accurately pinpoint the abnormality’s location, diagnose, and instantly treat it. It can be used in the treatment of any structure of the body reachable by light and that requires precise treatment. These include nerves, brain, and eyes among others.

According to Harvey Lui, the study’s co-author, it is possible to alter the blood vessel’s pathway without affecting the surrounding tissues or vessels. He said that the diagnosis and scanning of diseases such as skin cancer, it could be revolutionary.

What the researchers had in mind?

The researchers’ aim was to make the multiphoton microscope technology a bit more versatile and increase its precision.

Haishan Zeng, the senior author, said that they wanted to make it possible to identify what happens under the skin from different angles. They also wanted to have the ability to view different body sites. He said that once they achieved that, they wondered if they could turn up the power of the laser and transform the diagnostic device into a treatment device.

The results were amazing.

The researchers were first to achieve fast video-rate imaging which enabled clinical applications. They were also the first to come up with this technology for use in therapy. This was according to Zeng.


The researchers are in partnership with various UBC departments. These departments include electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and ophthalmology in the development of various versions of the technology. Research into the development of a small version that could perform microscopic examinations plus treatment during endoscopy is being explored. Endoscopy is a non-surgical procedure that examines the digestive tract of a person with the use of an endoscope, a tube that is flexible and has a light and a camera attached.

We would appreciate it if you shared your thoughts on the big possibilities that this technology has in the comment section below.



The University of British Columbia. (2019, May 15). A new way of diagnosing and treating disease — without cutting skin: Researchers develop a new laser microscope that could be ‘revolutionary’ for the treatment of diseases such as skin cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 19, 2019, from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/05/190515144020.htm



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