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Business – University of Toronto Researchers Make Cancer-Sensing Microchip

Reg Curren

Sept. 27 (Bloomberg) — Researchers at the University of Toronto said they have developed a microchip sensitive enough to more easily determine the type and severity of a patient’s cancer, which may lead to quicker and more effective treatment.

The researchers said the new device can sense the biomarkers that indicate the presence of cancer at the cellular level, generally present only at low levels in biological samples. Analysis can be completed in 30 minutes, using a handheld device such as a Blackberry made by Research In Motion Ltd. Of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

“This could change the way we do screening, we could do a lot more screening in the future,” lead investigator Shana Kelley, a professor in the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy and the Faculty of Medicine, said in an interview.

The chip is about the size of a person’s fingertip, she said. The chip, combined with the handheld device would replace the room of computers now needed to evaluate a sample of cancer biomarkers, Kelley said.

Kelley worked with University of Toronto engineering professor Ted Sargent and a team from Princess Margaret Hospital and Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.

They reported their development of the device in the Sept. 27 edition of Nature Nanotechnology.

To contact the reporter on this story: Reg Curren in Calgary at


September 28, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized |

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