20 October 2016

Pocket spectrometer for parallel cancer diagnosis

Denis Strigun, Naked Science

Cancer is a type of malignant tumor that develops from epithelial tissue cells. Depending on the localization and other features, the diagnosis of the disease requires the use of various outpatient methods, since the necessary equipment (for radiography, biopsy collection) is located in medical institutions. Existing smartphone-compatible spectrometers can only analyze one sample at a time.

In a new paper published in the journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics (Wang et al., A multichannel smartphone optical biosensor for high-throughput point-of-care diagnostics), scientists presented a spectrometer that is capable of simultaneously processing eight samples of biomaterial.

Here and below are drawings from the Washington State University press release
WSU portable smartphone laboratory detects cancer – VM.

The device is a nozzle on a smartphone and works according to the ELISA method – this immunological method is based on a specific antigen-antibody reaction. In particular, the spectrometer analyzes blood samples for the presence of interleukin-6 (IL-6), which can act as an anti-inflammatory cytokine and stimulate the immune response.


Tests have shown that the accuracy of such diagnostics reaches 99 percent. It can be used for the operative analysis of biomaterial for markers of liver, breast, prostate, lung cancer. According to the researchers, the spectrometer is already being used in practice, but so far it is only compatible with the iPhone 5. The next step will be to adapt the technology to any smartphone. The authors have already filed a patent application.

"The spectrometer will be especially useful in clinics and hospitals with a large number of samples, but without laboratories. The development will also be relevant for doctors who practice abroad or in remote areas," said co–author Lei Li.

Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru  20.10.2016

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