New technology enables detection of Cancer in less than 30 minutes without going to hospital. The equipment constitutes a Raman nano-sensor to recieve an amplified signal from the body tissue.
4 years ago, Manzoor Koyakutty and Shantikumar V Nair of Amrita University’s Kochi-based Centre for Nanomedicine use lasers to detect food spoil using Raman spectroscopy. Because the contaminants threw up dissimilar patterns, V Nair wonder why not bounce lasers off tissue to find cancer cells?
The outcome is a technology that allows cancer detection in less than 30 minutes. The team is currently working on a hand-held instrument to diagnose oral cancer. It is suppose to be ready in 2 years.
Shantikumar Nair, one of the 3 inventors of this technology said “We use the technique on samples of oral cancer, pre-cancerous tissues and normal tissues. The initial set of positive solution came 2 years ago”. The biotechnology department gave the team Rs 60 lakh to model the gadget, supposed to cost approx Rs 10 lakh.
Cancer Detection Technology:
This detection process uses a laser comprising of a nano substrate to identify pre-cancerous and cancerous cells. Usage of laser to know the nature of cells is not recent, but the signals produced were found to be difficult and weak to analyse.
This nano substrate (a nano material) set on the tissue solve the obstruction. Nair said, “The nano substrate amplifies the signals and allow us analyse the outcomes. For every type of tissue: pre-cancerous and cancerous or normal, there is a different Raman spectrum emitted from the laser,”
“Raman signal assists in detecting organic molecules in tissues. As these molecules vary depend on the condition of cells, signals coming from cancer tissue while those coming from normal tissue are distinct,”.
The device will comprise a Raman nano-sensor to obtain an amplified signal from tissue. In addition the signals can be inspect at a central facility. Also the result will be available in less than 30 minutes.
However this is a preliminary test to detect cancer. While scientists say gold-standard tests are needed to confirm it. Nair, Dean of research at Amrita University, make aware that the new gadget will allow community level large-scale screening and no need to take tissue biopsies.
Nair said,”In principle, it can detect any cancer from which Raman spectra can be obtain. Our team have given more attention to oral cancer as the possibility of screening for these cancers initially. Also due to oral cancer is on the peak and is curable if detected early.