Scientists create chip to sniff out type, severity of cancerSeptember 30th, 2009 - 5:47 pm ICT by IANS
Toronto, Sep 30 (IANS) Researchers have developed a microchip that is sensitive enough to quickly determine the type and severity of a patient’s cancer and nip the disease in the bud.
“This remarkable innovation is an indication that the age of nanomedicine is dawning,” says David Naylor, professor of medicine at the University of Toronto (U of T).
“Thanks to the breadth of expertise here at U of T, cross-disciplinary collaborations of this nature make such landmark advances possible,” he adds.
The new device can easily sense specific markers that indicate the presence of cancer at the cellular level.
These biomolecules - genes that indicate aggressive or benign forms of cancer and differentiate its subtypes - are generally present only at low levels in such samples.
Analysis can be completed in 30 minutes, a vast improvement over the existing diagnostic procedures that generally take days, says a U of T release.
“Today, it takes a room filled with computers to evaluate a clinically relevant sample of cancer biomarkers and the results aren’t quickly available,” says Shana Kelley, professor in pharmacy and medicine U of T, project investigator and study co-author.
“Our team was able to measure biomolecules on an electronic chip the size of your fingertip and analyse the sample within half an hour. The instrumentation required for this analysis can be contained within a unit the size of a BlackBerry,” says Kelley.
Tags: breadth, cancer biomarkers, cellular level, co author, collaborations, david naylor, diagnostic procedures, electronic chip, fingertip, half an hour, instrumentation, microchip, nanomedicine, project investigator, remarkable innovation, severity, shana, t cross, t project, university of toronto