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Scientists Develop New Biochips to Help Diagnose, Treat Cancer

Scientists Develop New Biochips to Help Diagnose, Treat Cancer

Tuesday, 13 October, 2020 - 05:15
An image taken with a confocal microscope of a field of non-dividing and dividing human cancer cells is seen at The Institute of Cancer Research in London. (Image: Reuters)

Researchers at the University of California Irvine in the United States have created a new bioelectronic chip that can help study tumor heterogeneity to reduce resistance to cancer therapies.

A paper published in the journal Advanced Biosystems explained how a team of electrical engineers, computer scientists and biomedical engineers combined artificial intelligence, microfluidics and nanoparticle inkjet printing in a device that enables the examination and differentiation of cancers and healthy tissues at the single-cell level, according to the German News Agency.

The Science Daily website quoted Kushal Joshi, researcher in biomedical engineering, as saying: "Cancer cell and tumor heterogeneity can lead to increased therapeutic resistance and inconsistent outcomes for different patients."

Hr also said that the novel biochip addresses this problem by allowing precise characterization of a variety of cancer cells from a sample.

"Single-cell analysis is essential to identify and classify cancer types and study cellular heterogeneity. It's necessary to understand tumor initiation, progression and metastasis in order to design better cancer treatment drugs," the researchers explained.

The team designed an apparatus to test the prototype of the new chip. In the apparatus, samples travel through microfluidic channels with carefully placed electrodes that monitor differences in the electrical properties of diseased versus healthy cells in a single pass.

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