Mexican student invents chip to detect cancer

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Kalaumari Mayoral Peña, a student from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM), Queretaro campus, is developing a chip that can detect and separate cancerous cells in the bloodstream with 90% efficiency.

The microfluid chip is part of Mayoral Peña's doctoral project and works with a blood sample similar to the one obtained with a glucometer.

At first, the device will focus on detecting breast cancer, according to a press release issued by the university through their website.

One of the microchip's most important traits is that it captures and analyzes cancer cells individually, which allows to gather valuable information for the patient's diagnosis and treatment.

“Conducting a thorough analysis of cancer cells by using new biotechnological tools will allow us to gather information that can help in the development of better treatments and diagnostic techniques,” said Mayoral in an interview.

Unlike conventional procedures that take cell samples and assess an average of the amount of cancer cells in the bloodstream, this is a technology that takes into account small cancer cell clusters with a different profile, which are harder to detect otherwise.

The student clarified that he still did not have a parameter for effectiveness, although he expects the chip to be 90% effective during trials with cancerous cells.

The project has offered Mayoral Peña many opportunities to collaborate with both Mexican and foreign institutions, such as Harvard University.



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