Detecting Cancer with Biosensors
“Lowering the barrier to diagnostics will enable everyone to have access to good healthcare…”
Dr. Marcie Black
What are biosensors?
Biosensors use technology to detect the presence of specific substances in the body.
Dr. Marcie Black and her colleagues at Advanced Silicon Group are inventing new types of biosensors that can detect diseases such as lung cancer - using only a blood test.
Biosensors have the potential to make the process of diagnosing diseases quicker, cheaper, and more widely available.
Innovations in diagnostic medicine are improving outcomes for patients. Biosensors can detect a patient’s specific biomarkers, allowing doctors to determine the most effective type of treatment for their disease. Biosensors also make diagnostic procedures easier and cheaper than performing biopsies.
When it works
After being diagnosed with advanced lung cancer, Quintano’s doctor tested him for biomarkers to determine if he would be a candidate for the most effective form of treatment for lung cancer: targeted therapy. This test helped Quintano regain quality of life.
Keeping bioprinted tissues growing
Biosensors have another important use in biofabrication: keeping new tissue growing strong.
Just like a plant needs the right amounts of water and sunlight to grow, new tissues needs precise amounts of ‘food’ to stay alive.
Growing tissues eat proteins called growth factors. Growth factors must be carefully and precisely fed to tissue in the correct amounts.
Biosensors can be used to measure how much growth factor a tissue needs, yielding healthy cells that grow faster and at a lower cost.