Nanodevice Sensitive Enough for Trace Level Biomarkers

A nanodevice in development at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering in Greensboro, North Carolina, appears to have the sensitivity to detect cancer “at the small cluster of cells level” where it is easier to treat, according to research scientists. How?

Nanodots too small to see provide a biochemical link for specific antibodies to attach to. One test measures interleukin-6 levels, which if increased could signal inflammation and therefore possibly other conditions. These nanodevices could test the bloodstream without outside laboratory testing: results would be sent to a cellphone app. Funding is needed, and researchers feel this technology could make a big difference in not only detecting cancers such as prostate but also help to fight outbreaks such as the Ebola virus.

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