Researchers develop new biosensor for early detection of breast cancer

Healthcare

Following a research initiative, a team of researchers have developed a prototype of a new biosensor. Currently, at the laboratory level, the development is likely to help detection breast cancer in the early stages. The creation of the prototype is an effort of a team from multiple nations.

Meanwhile, according to latest data collected by the European Cancer Information System, in 2020, 34,088 new breast cancer cases diagnosed in Spain. This tumor was the most frequent one among women in the country at that time.

In fact, at present, mammography is the standard technique used for the detection of breast cancer. The technique, however, has some limitations pertaining to sensitivity, exposure to radiation, lower, and specificity for young women with dense breast tissue. This requires new diagnostic tools for the early detection of breast cancer. The new biosensor is on those lines, explains one of the researchers.

Meanwhile, the development of the biosensor is for the field of liquid biopsy, which uses blood test to detect the presence of cancer. Importantly, the new mesoporous biosensor created by the research team is low cost, easy to use, and provides results in a short duration of time.

In terms of composition, the biosensor is made of nanoporous alumina – a nanomaterial that facilitates detection of microRNA in plasma associated with breast cancer. So far, this has been done using complex and time-intensive techniques, which implies that the system could not be used for diagnosis purposes in clinical settings.

The working of the alternative diagnostic system is explained: The nanopores of the biosensor are filled with a dye, and secured with an oligonucleotide.

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