Biosensor facilitates early diagnosis of cancer
Amidst increasing facilities for early detection and treatment of cancer Researchers have invented an ultra-sensitive biosensor that could facilitate early detection of cancer and help doctors prescribe personalized medicine specific to biochemistry of individuals.
The device is supposed to be several hundred times more sensitive than other biosensors, combines the characteristics of two clearly different types of sensors, said Muhammad A. Alam, professor of electrical and computer engineering, Purdue University, US.
"Individually, both types of biosensors have limited sensitivity, but when you combine the two you get something that is better than either,? the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has reported Alam as saying,
The paper was co-authored by Purdue graduate student Ankit Jain, Alam and Pradeep R. Nair, former Purdue doctoral student, says a Purdue statement.
The device - Flexure-FET biosensor - is made up of a mechanical sensor, which recognizes a bio-molecule based on its mass or size and electrical sensor that recognizes molecules based on their electrical charge.
The new device is able to find both charged and uncharged bio-molecules, thus permitting a broader range of applications than either type of sensor alone.
The sensor could have to major uses: personalized medicine, in which an inventory of proteins and DNA is identified for individual patients in order to make more correct diagnostics and treatment decisions, the second one, is early detection of cancer and other diseases.
The sensor is able to identify small quantities of DNA fragments and proteins deformed by cancer long before the disease becomes evident through imaging or other diagnostic techniques, Alam said. A US patent application has been filed for the invention of this device.
--with inputs from IANS
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