A team of scientists has developed a simple electromechanical device that can be used to diagnose deep tissue pathology in an automated and non-invasive manner.

When a skin disease occurs, the affected area usually becomes either tougher or softer than usual. The new sensor captures these differences, potentially allowing doctors to diagnose skin conditions faster and easier.

The wired sensor is only 2.5 mm thick and simply needs to be placed on the human skin. The alternating current is then passed through special coils on the device. The built-in magnet vibrates quickly and sends special waves up to 8 mm deep into the skin.

In response, the skin is invisible to humans, but not the device undergoes deformation. The underside of the sensor measures it by transmitting the data to a connected computer. He, in turn, translates them into the meaning of the stiffness of the skin. This value is then compared with indicators associated with specific diseases. The whole process takes one minute.

And while diagnostic systems already exist that measure skin stiffness, they are usually large devices that must be operated by trained technicians. In addition, they can only “read” the outermost layer of the skin. If commercialized, the new low-cost and portable sensor could be used by doctors in their offices or even by people monitoring skin conditions at home.