University of Washington Scientists and Engineers Create Credit-Card-Sized, Microfluidic Device Capable of Diagnosing Pancreatic Cancer in Minutes
The device automates the process used by pathology labs to process biopsy specimens and could be applied to automate other scientific processes
Hoping to speed up the processing of human biopsies to reduce the time required to diagnose cancers, two undergraduate engineering students at the University of Washington (UW) have developed a cheap, miniaturized device that could one day be used in anatomic pathology laboratories.
The protype is a low-cost, credit-card-sized device that automates the processing of human tissue biopsies using fluid transport. The device could help pathologists diagnose pancreatic cancer earlier and faster, to hopefully treat patients before it progresses to a deadly stage, according to a UW press release.
Unlike cancers that can be diagnosed early with fine needle biopsy, such as breast cancer, pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancers. It kills 94% of victims within five years because diagnosis usually is too late to effectively treat the disease. (more…)