optical-bandage-for-skin-cander.jpg Skin cancer affects almost 40 per cent of the population in the US alone. The treatment is time consuming and painful, often involving surgery. Hence, it is a blessing that researchers at the University of St Andrews and Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, have developed a new light emitting bandage that can be used in skin cancer therapy. Developed by Lumicure, this product is the invention of Ifor Samuel, a physicist at St Andrews', and Professor James Ferguson, head of the photobiology unit at Ninewells Hospital Dundee.

Highlights of the 'sticking plaster' cure
a. It is a non-invasive device.
b. This is based on the photodynamic therapy treatment (PDT) methods.
c. It reduces pain and can be used by patients even in their homes.
d. It is a battery operated, portable and lightweight device.
e. It is a light bandage with its own light source.
f. This bandage can be stuck to the skin of the patient.
g. Patients can carry on with their normal activities while wearing this device.
h. The light in the bandage is generated by an organic light-emitting diode.
i. It is a very convenient, comfortable and cost effective.
j. It might also eliminate the need for chemotherapy in some cases.
k. This device will be available in about 2 years time.

Cost
$200 and $300

The treatment
a. First a cream containing aminolevunic acid is applied on the skin.
b. This cream becomes photosensitive when it comes in contact with cancer lesions.
c. Once exposed to light it works on the cancerous cells.
d. The emitted light is of low level.