The Smart Magazine About Medical Technology Innovations

#24 - Innovations With Teeth

A Smartphone Laboratory That Detects Cancer

Prostate cancer cells (Courtesy of Anne Weston/Getty Images)

Researchers at Washington State University have developed a low-cost, portable laboratory on a smartphone that can analyze several samples at once to detect a cancer biomarker. The research team recently published its work in the journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics.

They explain that the smartphone is attached to a new, lightweight optical biosensor that detects human interleukin-6, a known biomarker for lung, prostate, liver, breast and epithelial cancers. A spectrometer analyzes the amount and type of chemicals in a sample by measuring the light spectrum.

One of the main innovations is the ability to measure up to eight different samples at once using a common colorimetric test called ELISA (Enzyme-Linked ImmunoSorbent Assay).

According to the researchers, the system is about 99 percent accurate. It can be used in clinics and hospitals, but is intended mainly for doctors who practice in areas far from lab services.

About the Author

Celia Sampol has been a journalist for 15 years. She worked in Brussels and Washington for national media (Agence France Presse, Liberation). She's the editor-in-chief of NauticExpo e-magazine.

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