Scientists have worked out a way of programming nanosensors so that they can spot a cancer cell from a blood sample.
Apparently the sensors snuffle through the blood sample looking for biomarkers for prostate and breast cancers. Study co-author Mark Reed, associate director of the Yale Institute for Nanoscience and Quantum Engineering said the technology could be applied to many other types of cancers.
The idea is that eventually it will mean that doctors can perform a quick, easy and low-cost test from their office and spot cancer before it becomes a problem.
It will also solve a problem that the medical world has in detecting biomarkers for lung, pancreatic and ovarian cancer. The nanotechnology is able to work at the sub-cellular level to find cancer biomarkers.
Currently not too many cancer biomarkers have been identified but the Human Genome Project is hoping to find more. Once the researchers have a list, they will be able to give the nanorobots more biomarkers to look for.