Smart Multi-Sensor Skin Inspection Method To Identify Skin Cancer Types

Contact: Jan Verstockt

Most of the existing techniques for skin cancer screening require a destructive biopsy. Imagine if it would be possible to detect the possible presence of skin cancer with a fast, contactless, painless and safe method using only your body heat. A malign tumor can grow very big very fast. This is known in medicine as the result of having a higher metabolism and/or a higher angiogenesis. Angiogenesis is the physiological process through which new blood vessels form from pre-existing vessels. When malign tumors are growing very fast, they need a vast amount of energy. The malign tumors need a lot of blood vessels to be able to deliver the needed energy. A higher metabolism means that a lot of ‘food’ is converted to energy to run the cellular processes and to make building blocks for the cells. The transformation from ‘food’ to energy to feed the malign tumor dissipates heat due to the internal processes. A normal living human body has a skin temperature between 33,5°C and 36,9°C. The skin is cooled down and the reheating of the skin is recorded with an infrared camera. An infrared camera is a kind of camera which registers the heat of an object instead of colors in a normal camera. Due to the higher angiogenesis, the malign tumor will reheat faster than normal skin and due to the higher metabolism, the malign tumor will have a higher temperature than normal skin. This PhD research is focused on finding the possible correlations between malign skin, the reheating curves of the malign and normal skin and a higher temperature than surrounding skin to determine if the skin is normal or possibly a malign tumor.