Updated on 21 May 2014
The ultra-sensitive nano-chip uses advances in plasmonics, nano-fabrication, microfluids and surface chemistry to detect the disease in early stages
Singapore: An international team of researchers from the Institute of Photonic Sciences in Castelldefel, Spain have developed a nano-chip that can detect low concentrations of protein cancer markers in blood at an early stage.
The ultra-sensitive nano-chip uses advances in plasmonics, nano-fabrication, microfluids and surface chemistry to detect the disease in early stages.
This chip hosts various sensing sites distributed across a network of fluidic micro-channels that enables it to conduct multiple analyses.
Explaining the functioning, a report said, gold nano-particles lie on the surface of the chip and are chemically programmed with an antibody receptor in a way that they are capable of specifically attracting the protein markers circulating in blood.
When a drop of blood is injected into the chip, it circulates through the micro-channels and if cancer markers are present in the blood, they stick to the nano-particles located on the micro-channels as they pass by.
The device monitors these changes, the magnitude of which are directly related to the concentration/number of markers in the patient blood, thus providing a direct assessment of the risk for the patient to develop a cancer.