The optical method, devised by scientists from Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Kolkata, and Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, taps into machine learning algorithms to classify healthy and abnormal tissues.
‘The optical method which has been devised, makes use of algorithm learning techniques to find out the differences between healthy and cancerous tissues.
"By using a light-based probe to identify certain complex repeating patterns (called multi-fractals), present on developing cancer cells, we can get early indications of the disease," Sabyasachi Mukhopadhyay, from IISER-Kolkata.
The study documenting the method is published in Journal of Biomedical Optics.
The basis of this technology is that cells which are progressing towards cancer show more of these complex geometric patterns than the normal, unaffected and healthy ones.
"Based on this correlation, we created a novel light-scattering based method to identify these unique patterns for detecting cancer progression," Mukhopadhyay said.
This algorithm could be used in clinical set-ups for screening cervical and other types of cancers, said the researcher.