10:05 am - Wednesday November 4, 2015

Now, a nano-chip that can help detect cancer at an early stage

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New Delhi: Here is some good news as researchers have developed a nano-chip that can detect low concentrations of protein cancer markers in blood at an early stage.

Developed by an international team of researchers, led by the Institute of Photonic Sciences in Castelldefelsis Spainusing, the ultra-sensitive nano-chip uses advances in plasmonics, nano-fabrication, microfluids and surface chemistry to detect the disease in early stages.This chip hosts various sensing sites distributed across a network of fluidic micro-channels that enables it to conduct multiple analyses.Gold nano-particles lie on the surface of the chip and are chemically programmed with an antibody receptor in a way that they are capable of specifically attracting the protein markers circulating in blood.

When a drop of blood is injected into the chip, it circulates through the micro-channels and if cancer markers are present in the blood, they stick to the nano-particles located on the micro-channels as they pass by.

The device monitors these changes, the magnitude of which are directly related to the concentration/number of markers in the patient blood, thus providing a direct assessment of the risk for the patient to develop a cancer.

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