The standard for detecting cancer cells in biopsies is immunohisochemistry — and detecting key antigens can be a time intensive process, requiring days to complete. Researchers at Harvard and MIT have developed a mobile mini NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) device operated by a smart phone that can be used at a patient’s bedside to detect cancer cells in under one hour.
Researchers state the parts to make the device cost $200 to manufacture, making it affordable for clinics or in poorer countries. More promising, however, are the results of a study just published in the Journal Science Translational Magazine that used the device to diagnose cancer. The study found the mobile device performed better than traditional methods of detecting cancer cells in biopsies.