Tech UPTechnologyA mobile phone that diagnoses cancer

A mobile phone that diagnoses cancer

Scientists from Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in the United States, have developed a portable device that, coupled to a smart mobile phone , detects the proteins produced by cancer cells, providing a rapid method to diagnose and monitor the evolution of a possible tumor in cancer patients . Unlike biopsy analysis, which takes several days, the new detector offers diagnosis in less than an hour . As if that were not enough, it has a 96% success rate, a higher figure than with the techniques used so far (84%), according to its creators in the journal Science Translational Medicine .

The detector is a miniature nuclear magnetic resonance imaging device that uses magnetic nanoparticles as sensors to measure chemical compounds in cells. The new tool avoids annoying, and sometimes painful, biopsies, since the volume of tissue required is so small that it can be obtained with a very fine 0.7 millimeter diameter needle. The sample is placed in a thumb-sized probe that contains the chips that process the data and communicate with the mobile phone. Since there is hardly any waiting time, the patient’s anxiety about the diagnosis is also reduced.

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