Combining scanning haptic microscopy and fibre optic Raman spectroscopy for tissue characterization.
Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in men in Europe and the US. The methods to detect prostate cancer are still precarious and new techniques are needed. A piezoelectric transducer element in a feedback system is set to vibrate with its resonance frequency. When the sensor element contacts an object a change in the resonance frequency is observed, and this feature has been utilized in sensor systems to describe physical properties of different objects. For medical applications it has been used to measure stiffness variations due to various patho-physiological conditions. In this study the sensor's ability to measure the stiffness of prostate tissue, from two excised prostatectomy specimens in vitro, was analysed. The specimens were also subjected to morphometric measurements, and the sensor parameter was compared with the morphology of the tissue with linear regression. In the probe impression interval 0.5-1.7 mm, the maximum R(2) > or = 0.60 (p < 0.05, n = 75). An increase in the proportion of prostate stones (corpora amylacea), stroma, or cancer in relation to healthy glandular tissue increased the measured stiffness. Cancer and stroma had the greatest effect on the measured stiffness. The deeper the sensor was pressed, the greater, i.e., deeper, volume it sensed. Tissue sections deeper in the tissue were assigned a lower mathematical weighting than sections closer to the sensor probe. It is concluded that cancer increases the measured stiffness as compared with healthy glandular tissue, but areas with predominantly stroma or many stones could be more difficult to differ from cancer.