12/30/2005

Gyroscopes that can detect cancer

Filed under: — By Aviran Mordo @ 9:39 am

Cancer-detecting biosensors developed by a Newcastle University-led consortium have attracted major European funding.

A vibrating disc no bigger than a speck of dust could help to diagnose and monitor common types of cancer and provide specialists with information about the most appropriate therapy.

The European Union has awarded international researchers, led by the University of Newcastle, a 12m euro grant to develop the biosensor technology, which is based on micro-gyroscopes.

The research team aims to produce a hand-held device which would enable samples of blood, smear or biopsy to be tested quickly and accurately, for signs of cancer of the breast, cervix, colon or rectum.

The device would identify ‘cancer specific markers’ - proteins or other molecules produced by cancer cells - which vary according to the type of cancer and are distinct from proteins produced by healthy cells.

The researchers have manufactured discs less than one-tenth of a millimetre in diameter and coated them with special patterns of DNA or proteins which cause the cancer-specific markers to bind to the surface.

Source: 999today

 

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