The sKan is a low cost and non-invasive device that can detect skin cancer has won this year's international James Dyson Award.

Invented by four Canadian bioengineering undergraduates from Ontario's McMaster University; Michael Takla, Rotimi Fadiya, Prateek Mathur and Shivad Bhavsar, the sKan is a handheld device is made from widely available and inexpensive components and can possibly make detection of the disease more accessible.

According to the World Health Organization, one in every three worldwide diagnosed cancer cases is a skin cancer.

James Dyson, founder of the Dyson company said the sKan received the award because it is "a very clever device with the potential to save lives around the world".

Since 2002, the James Dyson Award has been open to university or recent design graduates across the world and celebrates significant, practical and commercially viable designs.

To develop the device, the four graduates were awarded C$50,000 ($40,000; £30,000).  The device uses temperature sensors to help in the early detection of melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer because cancerous cells have a higher metabolic rate than normal tissue cells. Cancerous tissue usually warms at a faster rate than non-cancerous tissue when the tissue skin is cooled.

The team plans to use the funds to build a new prototype that can be used in pre-clinical testing. Their ultimate goal is to select patients who should be sent for a biopsy because early detection is key for the treatment of melanoma.

sKan Team: Michael Takla, Rotimi Fadiya, Prateek Mathur and Shivad Bhavsar

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