NASA’s electronic nose can detect brain cancer cells

May 1st, 2009 - 12:28 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, May 1 (ANI): Researchers have found that an electronic nose developed for air quality monitoring on Space Shuttle Endeavour can also be used to detect cancerous brain cells.

The finding can open up new possibilities for neurosurgeons to fight against brain cancer.

Neurosurgeons from the City of Hope Cancer Centre, along with scientists from the Brain Mapping Foundation in West Hollywood and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena have found that NASA’s electronic nose can also be used to detect odour differences in normal and cancerous brain cells.

“This pilot study lays the groundwork for future research that may help us to better understand cellular trafficking, contribute to designing better approaches for the detection and differentiation of brain cancer, and understand the pathophysiology of intracranial gliomas,” said Babak Kateb, lead author of the paper, Chairman and Scientific Director of the Brain Mapping Foundation.

The electronic nose, which is to be installed on the International Space Station in order to automatically monitor the station’s air, can detect contaminants within a range of one to approximately 10,000 parts per million.

These experiments will help pave the way for more sophisticated biochemical analysis and experimentation.

The results of the pilot study are set to be published in an IBMISPS-NeuroImage. (ANI)

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