14 Feb, 2024 @ 07:00
1 min read

Incredible new SALIVA test for breast cancer will diagnose patients in less than five SECONDS

Covid19 Cancer  Research Roumeliotis 220420

SCIENTISTS have created portable saliva test that is capable of detecting breast cancer in as little as five seconds.

The incredible device is the work of experts from the University of Florida in the USA and the National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University in Taiwan.

The hand-sized gadget is able to find biomarkers of the disease from just a small sample of a patient’s spit.

It has been proven to work in a recent trial involving real patients, with the results published in the Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology B.

READ MORE: How the Mediterranean diet enjoyed in Spain can help prevent cancer

Covid19 Cancer  Research Roumeliotis 220420
The incredible device is the work of experts from the University of Florida in the USA and the National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University in Taiwan. (stock image)

The new test hopes to revolutionise testing for breast cancer around the world – given that mammograms, ultrasounds and MRIs are costly and to millions of people, unaccessible.

Author of the study Hsiao-Hsuan Wan, a chemical engineer, said: “Our device is an excellent option because it is portable and reusable. The testing time is less than five seconds per sample, which makes it very efficient.

The young woman has already applied for a patent for her device in a bid to make it available as soon as possible.

She added: “In many places, especially in developing countries, it may not be easy to have advanced technologies, such as magnetic resonance imaging, to detect breast cancer.

“Our technology is more cost-effective: the test strip costs just a few cents and the reusable circuit board is priced at five dollars (4.66 euros).”

In 2020, 2.3 million women were diagnosed with breast cancer worldwide and 685,000 died from the disease. In Spain, some 35,001 new cases were diagnosed in 2023.

Incredibly, the ‘biosensor’ created by Wan and her team simply needs a small drop of saliva to provide accurate results, even if the concentration of the cancer biomarker is very low, such as one billionth of a gram.

The paper test strips are laced with antibodies that interact with cancer biomarkers. When they react, the device sends electronic signals, confirming the patient has cancerous cells in their saliva.

Laurence Dollimore

Laurence has a BA and MA in International Relations and a Gold Standard diploma in Multi-Media journalism from News Associates in London. He was news editor for all print editions of the Olive Press from 2016 to 2019 taking on the role of Digital Editor between January 2020 and February 2021.

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