A paper test can detect cancer early 2023


A novel nanoparticle sensor could help urine tests detect cancer early. It can also detect various malignant proteins that can help identify tumor types and therapy responses.

Engineers at MIT’s nanoparticle sensor could detect metastasis. The sensor nanoparticles release short DNA sequences in the urine when they contact a tumor. According to MIT, these can indicate unique tumor traits. This test uses a strip of paper like an at-home Covid test, making it cheaper and easier.

We innovate to bring technology to low- and middle-resource situations. “Putting this diagnostic on paper is part of our goal of democratizing diagnostics and creating inexpensive technologies that can give you a fast answer at the point of care,” said senior author Sangeeta Bhatia.

A urine test with the novel nanoparticle sensor could detect cancer early.

The sensors detected five tumor-expressed enzymes during testing. Using a microfluidic device, this method can differentiate at least 46 DNA barcodes in a sample.

“Our goal here is to build up disease signatures and to see whether we can use these barcoded panels not only to read out a disease but also to classify or distinguish different cancer types,” said lead author Liangliang Hao.

Because tumors vary widely, researchers may need more than five barcodes to use these in humans. They created a microfluidic chip with researchers at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard lead by Harvard University Professor Pardis Sabeti to read up to 46 DNA barcodes from one sample.

This examination can also assess a patient’s tumor’s response to treatment and recurrence.

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