The goal of the DIADEPH project is to develop a “Business Proposition Package” that could enable our group to eventually bring a new non-invasive gynaecological device to market. The device holds promise to reduce the number of biopsies that are currently carried out to rule out cervical cancer, thus mitigating the pain, anxiety, and financial costs that the shortcomings of the diagnosis pathway brings today on patients, their families, and our society.
Every year, more than half-a-million women are diagnosed with cervical cancer: for half of them, the diagnosis is a death sentence. This terrible disease often affects young lives: in Europe, it represents the 2nd most common form of cancer among women aged 15-44. The diagnostic evaluation starts if, during a periodical screening, the patient is found positive to high-risk Human Papilloma Virus. The patient is then primarily referred to colposcopy to look for possible signs of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN). Unfortunately, this exam leaves much to be desired: even for high grade leasions (CIN3), colposcopy gives a false negative in almost one case in three.
To address the shortcomings of colposcopy, we propose a new transvaginal probe that obtains two independent neoplasia indicators: (1) a high-resolution 3D subsurface image, and (2) a quantitative assessment of its mechanical properties. The data are collected during a procedure that does not generate discomfort and is expected to provide a better diagnosis in a few minutes.
We already developed a prototype for dermatological analysis, and tested it on volunteers; with this grant, we will convert the current form factor to enable transvaginal measurements. Supported by a team of physicists, engineers, medical doctors, and business developers, we will analyze the business opportunity and align all the stakeholders that are needed to go from a proof-of-concept to a market-ready product.
Fields of science
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeERC-POC-LS - ERC Proof of Concept Lump Sum Pilot