India Scientist invents Chip to Detect Cancer Early, Costs less than a dollar

newSource : the new indian express

BENGALURU:  Innovators often draw inspiration from personal experiences. Dr Deepika Sharma was spurred by a tragedy to come up with a device that brings down the costs of cancer detection.

Described as a ‘microfluidic low-cost organ-on-chip for cancer metastasis and drug optimisation’, the device can detect cancer early and help choose the right drugs.

Sharma’s mother died of urethral cancer five years ago. The death prodded the scientist to work on a device that could detect cancer early.

“If there had been a tool for early detection, we could have saved my mother,” she said.

The chip she is developing costs as little as Rs 30 and could cost even less if mass-produced. The project has been taken up by the Institute of Nano Science and Technology, Mohali, Punjab, to which she is attached.

Speaking to Express on the sidelines of the eighth Bangalore India Nano Summit, organised by the Department of IT, BT and Science and Technology, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research and other organisations, Sharma said work on the device was progressing rapidly. It will hit the market within a year, she said.

She is working with Dr Bhanu Prakash and Asim Varma on the project. The prototypes, on display at the summit, have succeeded in detecting prostrate cancer, she disclosed.

Its transparent material, olydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), is etched using a laser to emulate endothelial cells, which line the insides of blood vessels.

When samples are placed on the sensor and observed under a microscope, medical professionals can tell if the patient has cancer, Shrma said.

cheap and effective

  • Mother’s death from cancer prodded scientist Dr Deepika Sharma to design cancer detecting device
  • Lowcost gadget can also be used to determine which treatment is appropriate for a patient
  • Currently used to detect prostrate cancer, it can be used to test on other cancers soon

Noting that the cost of such devices shoot up when patented, Sharma said her team was keen to keep the price affordable.

“We will publish results of its success in the detection of prostate cancer within a year. Soon, we will be able to test it on other cancers,” she said.

The device can also be used to determine which treatment is appropriate for a patient.

“People respond to medicines differently. With the PDMS sensor, we can ascertain which medicines suit them better, rather than let them consume a cocktail of drugs,” Asim Varma said.

The current technique for detecting cancer – biopsy, in which a tissue is taken and examined closely in a lab – is expensive, with prices varying across hospitals. The nano-device will be a cost-effective alternative, he said.

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India to focus on sensor nanotechnology

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India Needs to Improve on Nano Tech, Says Defence Minister Aide

09th December 2015 07:01 AM

news source : www.http://www.newindianexpress.com

VISAKHAPATNAM: “India is weak in Nano and Sensor Technology which has to be properly improved and built,” said Dr VK Aatre, former DG of DRDO, DG ADA (Aeronautical Development Agency) and Scientific Advisor to the Defence Ministry. He inaugurated a seminar at YVS Murthy Auditorium here Tuesday on Smart Sensors and Systems (S2S-N15), organised by the department of Instrument Technology, Andhra University College of Engineering, and Institute of Smart Structures and Systems, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.

Addressing the students, Dr Aatre said that there were people who said that Nano technology creates many problems but nothing comes without risk and we cannot do without technology. “Science can be used and abused,” he added. “Nano and Sensor technology now plays a major role in medical field and a dominant role in health monitoring systems,” said Dr Aatre. Predicting the next generation technology, he said that there would come a day when everyone would wear a wrist watch which could regulate our health and human impulsions. He said that science had improved in such a way that you cannot distinguish between a human and a robot.

He suggested the younger generation to know about the history of science, become the next generation scientists using technology for the good of society, especially global warming, an issue to be solved, and Nano technology which affects the way of living, health and use of gadgets. Later a souvenir was released by Dr Aatre.

AU vice-chancellor GSN Raju, DRDO’s former DG V Bhujanga Rao, IISC Prof S Mohan, Visakhapatnam Steel Plant GM (Automation) K Sairam Kumar, Instrument Technology HoD Prof DV Rama Koti Reddy, AUCE Principal Prof Ch V Rama Chandra Murthy and seminar convener Daisy Rani spoke.

By Express News Service for The New Indian Express, shared by worldnano blog

 

 

‘Nano technology holds great promise’

December 9, 2015 05:43 IST

news source: http://www.thehindu.com/

Micro and nano technologies are like a double-edged sword, which not only hold the greatest promise but also potential danger at the same time. Budding scientists have to be alive to the emerging challenges as also to the technological innovations taking place across the world, opined V.K. Aatre, former Director-General of DRDO.

“The innovations taking place in the field of nano technology will have a tremendous impact on human life and one cannot wish them away. The day may not be far off when all of us will carry wrist watches (bands) to continuously monitor our own health. It could take two or three decades but I am confident that it will happen sooner than later,” Dr Aatre told The Hindu on the sidelines of a seminar on ‘Smart sensors and systems (S2S – N15)’ organised jointly by the Department of Instrument Technology, Andhra University College of Engineering, and the Institute of Smart Structures and Systems, IISc, Bengaluru, here on Tuesday.

Silicon lockets, developed by IIT-Bombay using nano technology less than a decade ago, are already in use to continuously monitor the heart activity (ECG) of the wearer. These silicon lockets are lighter and convenient than the Holter monitors, which were in use for long.

Judicious use

“Does man have the wisdom to use science for the benefit of mankind?” One cannot wish away technology but has to use it in a judicious way to avail of its benefits. Saying that it was unfortunate that India was very weak in sensor and actuator technologies, Dr. Aatre called upon students to come up with innovative ideas in these areas.

By B. MADHU GOPAL for The Hindu shared by worldnano