Gadget can diagnose prostate cancer in 30 minutes

Toronto researchers have developed a portable device they say will accurately diagnose prostate cancer in 30 minutes.

The microchip technology, created by a pair of University of Toronto scientists, will be able to determine the severity of the tumours through a simple urine sample and produce quick diagnosis with no need for painful biopsies.

Now heading into the engineering stage, a BlackBerry-sized device should be available for doctors’ use within two to three years and could be tuned to detect a broad range of cancers and infectious ailments, the researchers say.

“The goal would be to produce a result…..while you’re sitting in the waiting room,” says engineering professor Ted Sargent, holder of the U of T’s Canada Research Chair in Nanotechnology.

A paper on the work was published today in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

The device uses a fingertip-sized microchip – fitted with nanometre-sized meshing – programmed to detect DNA sequences and proteins that are uniquely produced by specific cancers or pathogens.

These “biomarkers” would be drawn from urine or blood samples by molecular………

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