Hand-held biosensor detects breast cancer biomarkers from saliva

NewsGuard 100/100 Score

Breast cancer is on the rise, but new tools for early detection could save lives.

In Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology B, by AIP Publishing, researchers from the University of Florida and National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University in Taiwan reported successful results from a hand-held breast cancer screening device that can detect breast cancer biomarkers from a tiny sample of saliva. Their biosensor design uses common components, such as widely available glucose testing strips and the open-source hardware-software platform Arduino.

Imagine medical staff conducting breast cancer screening in communities or hospitals. Our device is an excellent choice because it is portable -; about the size of your hand -; and reusable. The testing time is under five seconds per sample, which makes it highly efficient."

Hsiao-Hsuan Wan, Author

The device uses paper test strips treated with specific antibodies that interact with the targeted cancer biomarkers. A saliva sample is placed on the strip, and pulses of electricity are sent to electrical contact points on the biosensor device. These pulses cause the biomarkers to bind to the antibodies and alter the charge and capacitance over the electrode. This produces a change in the output signal, which can be measured and translated into digital information about how much biomarker is present.

The design is revolutionary compared to its alternatives. Mammograms, ultrasounds, and MRIs are costly and invasive and require large, specialized equipment, present low-dose radiation exposure, and can take days or weeks to return test results.

"In many places, especially in developing countries, advanced technologies like MRI for breast cancer testing may not be readily available," Wan said. "Our technology is more cost-effective, with the test strip costing just a few cents and the reusable circuit board priced at $5. We are excited about the potential to make a significant impact in areas where people might not have had the resources for breast cancer screening tests before."

The biosensor requires just a drop of saliva, and it can provide accurate test results even if the concentration of the cancer biomarker in the sample is only one quadrillionth of a gram, or one femtogram, per milliliter.

"The highlight for me was when I saw readings that clearly distinguished between healthy individuals and those with cancer," Wan said. "We dedicated a lot of time and effort to perfecting the strip, board, and other components. Ultimately, we've created a technique that has the potential to help people all around the world."

Source:
Journal reference:

Wan, H-H., et al. (2024) High sensitivity saliva-based biosensor in detection of breast cancer biomarkers: HER2 and CA15-3. Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology B. doi.org/10.1116/6.0003370.

Comments

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment
Post

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.

You might also like...
Tiny DNA circles are key drivers of cancer formation, study suggests