Scientists are putting their efforts on a tiny liquid sensor which may spot cancer instantly and this may well be the first home detection kit for cancer of its kind.
Jae Kwon, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, University of Missouri, is working on developing an acoustic resonant sensor that is smaller than a human hair and could test bodily fluids for a variety of diseases, including breast and prostate cancers.
Kwon explained: "Many disease-related substances in liquids are not easily tracked. In a liquid environment, most sensors experience a significant loss of signal quality, but by using highly sensitive, low-signal-loss acoustic resonant sensors in a liquid, these substances can be effectively and quickly detected - a brand-new concept that will result in a noninvasive approach for breast cancer detection."
Kwon's sensor makes use of micro/nanoelectromechanical systems (M/NEMS), tiny devices that are smaller than the diameter of a human hair, to directly detect diseases in body fluids.
Kwon said: "Our ultimate goal is to produce a device that will simply and quickly diagnose multiple specific diseases, and eventually be used to create 'point of care' systems, which are services provided to patients at their bedsides.
"The sensor has strong commercial potential to be manifested as simple home kits for easy, rapid and accurate diagnosis of various diseases, such as breast cancer and prostate cancer."
Kwon's sensor research has been published in the IEEE International Conference on Solid-state, Sensors, Actuators and Microsystems and the IEEE Conference on Sensors.