Scientists have developed a low-cost portable device that may help in the early diagnosis of cancer by detecting tumour cells in blood.
The device developed by researchers from University in Tarragona (URV) in Spain counts the number of tumour cells in a blood sample in real time and is thus a highly effective tool for improving the monitoring, treatment and diagnosis of cancer.
The device can accurately determine a patient's level of health and monitors cancer quickly, cheaply, effectively and non-invasively, researchers said.
Furthermore, it can assist in the early diagnosis of the disease and monitor tumours more effectively and in a manner that has a less negative effect on patients' bodies.
The portable device uses two systems in miniature: a flow system and an optical system. The first causes the blood cells to flow in alignment, while the second uses two optic fibres (a laser diode and a photodetector) to analyse and count cancerous and non-cancerous cells, researchers said.
The ratio between the two reveals how the cancer is progressing.
The finding were published in the journal Scientific Reports.