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article imageA paper-based test for cancer unveiled

By Tim Sandle     Mar 1, 2014 in Health
Scientists have unveiled as prototype for a paper-based test for cancer. The test uses nanoscale agents that detect disease-associated synthetic biomarkers in urine designed for the diagnosis of tumors, heart disease, and more.
Scientists have proposed a new technique for diagnosing certain disease where agents can be injected into the body to serve as synthetic biomarkers; these biomarkers can then be detected in urine using a paper strip. If the disease is present, it will be shown via a simple color change. A biomarker, or biological marker, generally refers to a measured characteristic which may be used as an indicator of some biological state or condition.
To develop the test, the scientists constructed nanoparticles that target diseased tissue, such as a tumor,
Using mouse models, the researchers were able to “detect diseases as diverse as solid cancer and blood clots using only a single injection of our diagnostic followed by urine analysis on paper.” For the study, New Scientist reports, the researchers designed two synthetic biomarkers—one associated with colorectal cancer and another that was specific to blood clots, a common sign of cardiovascular problems—and demonstrated their ability to detect these compounds in urine from mouse models of these diseases using a paper strip coated with targeted antibodies.
This is according to a research paper published in the journal PNAS ("Point-of-care diagnostics for noncommunicable diseases using synthetic urinary biomarkers and paper microfluidics").
When the technique is successfully translated to humans, the paper-based test could support the development of low-cost diagnostics that may be effective early in disease detection.
More about Cancer, Paper, papertest, Diagnostic
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