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New technology could boost disease detection tests' speed and sensitivity
Date:12/7/2009

ectively sort and move cells with this technique could allow for much greater efficiency in disease detection by directing diseased cells toward sensors. Many of today's tests require hours or even days to complete, because the concentration of diseased cells in a blood sample may be so low that it takes a long time for them to randomly bump into the sensors. In early-stage cancer, for instance, there could be one tumor cell for every billion healthy cells, making them extremely difficult to detect.

"Effective and efficient separation is very important when you're looking for a needle in a haystack," said Ayse Rezzan Kose, a graduate student in the Koser Lab and the lead author of the study. "We're hoping we can achieve an increase of several orders of magnitude in the sensitivity of existing detection technologies. If so, a blood sample analysis could be completed in minutes, not hours or days."

Koser hopes that one day the new technique will lead to portable sensors that doctors can carry into the field and which could be used to test for a range of disorders, such as cancer and HIV. "Anything you can put into the ferrofluid solution is potentially detectable in this manner."


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Contact: Suzanne Taylor Muzzin
suzanne.taylormuzzin@yale.edu
203-432-8555
Yale University
Source:Eurekalert  

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