Professor develops simple cancer test

Posted by Jean Antonique

A University of Missouri professor has developed a device that could test for some cancers as easily as a pregnancy test.

The tiny acoustic resonant sensor can test bodily fluids for a variety of diseases, including breast and prostate cancers.

"Many disease-related substances in liquids are not easily tracked," said Jae Kwon, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at MU.

"In a liquid environment, most sensors experience a significant loss of signal quality, but by using highly sensitive, low-signal-loss acoustic resonant sensors in a liquid, these substances can be effectively and quickly detected — a brand-new concept that will result in a noninvasive approach for breast cancer detection."

Kwon's real-time, special acoustic resonant sensor uses micro/nanoelectromechanical systems to directly detect diseases in body fluids.

The sensor doesn't require bulky data reading or analyzing equipment, he says, and  produces rapid, almost immediate results.

"Our ultimate goal is to produce a device that will simply and quickly diagnose multiple specific diseases, and eventually be used to create 'point of care' systems, which are services provided to patients at their bedsides," Kwon said.

"The sensor has strong commercial potential to be manifested as simple home kits for easy, rapid and accurate diagnosis of various diseases, such as breast cancer and prostate cancer."