Medical technology its so amazing nowadays! I recently read “Ultrasensitive detection of circulating exosomes with a 3D-nanopatterned microfluidic chip“an article published by nature Biomedical Engineer (Y. Zeng et al.from University of Kansas) This 3-D-nanopatterned microfluidic chip can successfully detect cancer markers in a drop of blood or in a component of the blood called plasma, that otherwise might be undetectable by standard microfluidic systems for biosensing. Its been called: Lab on a chip.
They state that “Exosomes—a subtype of EVs secreted by mammalian cells with a typical size range of 30–150 nm—have been implicated in many biological processes, including the immune response, tumorigenesis and metastasis.” In tumor associated exosomes, in biofluids, can be very rare during the early stages of disease, that is one of the reasons some type of cancer like Ovarian Cancer are hard to detect in early stages. This novel device, 3-D nanoengineering tool with a herringbone pattern that “combs” for exosomes, push them to come into contact with the surface of the tool’s chip for analysis. Calling the process, “mass transfer.” The team found out that the chip can detect cancer even in a small drop of blood. To develop and test the device, Zeng teamed with tumor-biomarker expert and KU Cancer Center Deputy Director Andrew Godwin, also with graduate student Ashley Tetlow in Godwin’s Biomarker Discovery Lab. The collaborators tested the chip’s design using clinical samples from Ovarian Cancer patients, finding the chip could detect the presence of cancer. Well the article and technology is way more complicated and interesting than what I just wrote, but my point is that: it is amazing how advanced technology have come to the point that a micro chip can potentially save lives! To read the full article: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41551-019-0356-9
Pic: Ibrahim Mora, Unsplash