May 18, 2024
Skin Patch Monitors Tumor

New Skin Patch Monitors Tumor Size and Sends Updates to Smartphone

A group of medical researchers and chemical engineers at National Tsing Hua University has developed a groundbreaking skin patch that can monitor the size of a tumor just below the skin’s surface. This innovative patch, described in a paper published in ACS Nano, offers a simple and convenient way to monitor tumor growth without the need for invasive procedures or expensive imaging tests.

Traditionally, tumors located underneath the skin are not removed, and instead, patients undergo drug therapies or radiation treatments to manage their condition. Regular monitoring of the tumor size is crucial in determining the effectiveness of these treatments. Currently, patients are required to visit medical facilities for tests such as MRI scans to accurately measure tumor dimensions.

The new skin patch developed by the research team provides an alternative and more accessible method of tracking tumor growth. The patch, which acts like a stretchy sticker, is made of soft, flexible plastic with an adhesive side. To enable it to monitor tumor size, the plastic is infused with hafnium, a metal produced by blending silver and oxygen.

To create the patch, the hafnium metal is shaped into nanoparticles that are only 100 nanometers in size, before being combined with the plastic. When the patch is applied to the skin above the tumor, changes in the alignment and electrical properties of the nanoparticles alter the patch’s characteristics, giving an indication of the tumor’s size.

The researchers conducted experiments using mice that had tumors approximately the size of a grain of rice. The results showed that the patch accurately tracked tumor growth over a period of up to seven days. If further testing proves successful, this innovative patch could be incorporated into treatment regimens, enabling patients to monitor their progress in real-time. Through a smartphone app, patients would have access to daily updates on their tumor size, which could be shared with their healthcare provider.

This skin patch offers several advantages over current monitoring methods. It is non-invasive and does not require frequent visits to medical facilities for imaging tests. Instead, patients can apply the patch themselves and receive immediate updates on their smartphone. This increased convenience could help patients feel more in control of their treatment and foster proactive communication with their doctors.

While the patch has shown promising results in preliminary testing, further research is necessary to fully validate its effectiveness and safety. If successful, this technology could revolutionize tumor monitoring, improving patient experiences and outcomes.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraaged AI tools to mine information and compile it