Researchers at University of Massachusetts Amherst have claimed that they have developed a new sensor array system that can "smell" out different types of cancer cells by detecting microscopic levels of many different metastatic cell types in living tissue.
The sensor array system is made up of gold nanoparticles and proteins and smells out different types of cancer cells in a similar manner through which the human nose can smell different types of odors.
Lead researcher Vincent Rotello said that the only major drawback of the system was that the user should know the appropriate receptor beforehand but added that they have successfully demonstrated the system pre-clinical non-small-cell lung cancer metastasis model in mice developed by researchers at University of Calgary.
"With this tool, we can now actually detect and identify metastasised tumour cells in living animal tissue rapidly and effectively using the 'nose' strategy. We were the first group to use this approach in cells, which is relatively straightforward. Now we've done it in tissues and organs, which are very much more complex. With this advance, we're much closer to the promise of a general diagnostic test", the researchers said in a statement.