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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Scientists at a South Florida University are developing a hand-held tool that could be used to detect breast cancer.

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The optical scanner, developed at Florida International University, is considered non-invasive and an inexpensive way to give an early diagnosis -an important feat for a disease considered the second largest cause of death in women in the United States.

The way it works is, it creates a 3-D image of the tissue in real-time. A feature considered unique to the tool is its ability to show a contrast between disease and normal tissues.

It can also be used to look at the side of the chest which is not possible in present machines.

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The invention goes beyond cancer diagnosis.

It can be used for any kind of body-imaging tasks like brain mapping, drug delivery, detection of tissue hemorrhages and lie detection, according to university officials.

The university says they are currently looking for a commercial partner to help further develop and introduce the device.

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The product will be going to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval.