Biochip innovation combines AI and nanoparticles to analyze tumors

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Electrical engineers, computer scientists and biomedical engineers at the University of California, Irvine have created a new lab-on-a-chip that can help study tumor heterogeneity to reduce resistance to cancer therapies.

In a paper published today in Advanced Biosystems, the researchers describe how they combined artificial intelligence, microfluidics and nanoparticle inkjet printing in a device that enables the examination and differentiation of cancers and healthy tissues at the single-cell level.

“Cancer cell and tumor heterogeneity can lead to increased therapeutic resistance and inconsistent outcomes for different patients,” said lead author Kushal Joshi, a former UCI graduate student in biomedical engineering. The team’s novel biochip addresses this problem by allowing precise characterization of a variety of cancer cells from a sample.

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Crumpled graphene makes ultra-sensitive cancer DNA detector

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Graphene-based biosensors could usher in an era of liquid biopsy, detecting DNA cancer markers circulating in a patient’s blood or serum. But current designs need a lot of DNA. In a new study, crumpling graphene makes it more than ten thousand times more sensitive to DNA by creating electrical “hot spots,” researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found.

Crumpled graphene could be used in a wide array of biosensing applications for rapid diagnosis, the researchers said. They published their results in the journal Nature Communications.

“This sensor can detect ultra-low concentrations of molecules that are markers of disease, which is important for early diagnosis,” said study leader Rashid Bashir, a professor of bioengineering and the dean of the Grainger College of Engineering at Illinois. “It’s very sensitive, it’s low-cost, it’s easy to use, and it’s using graphene in a new way.”

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The AI doctor will see you now

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A lightbox showing a mammogram xray

Advances in neural networks and other techniques promise to transform health care while raising profound questions about our bodies and society.

AI software can identify early signs of breast cancer long before the disease can be diagnosed by conventional means.

When MIT professor Regina Barzilay received her breast cancer diagnosis, she turned it into a science project. Learning that the disease could have been detected earlier if doctors had recognized the signs on previous mammograms, Barzilay, an expert in artificial intelligence, used a collection of 90,000 breast x-rays to create software for predicting a patient’s cancer risk.

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Google AI claims 99% accuracy in metastatic breast cancer detection

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Above: Left: a slide containing lymph nodes. Right: LYNA identifying the tumor region.

Metastatic tumors — cancerous cells which break away from their tissue of origin, travel through the body through the circulatory or lymph systems, and form new tumors in other parts of the body — are notoriously difficult to detect. A 2009 study of 102 breast cancer patients at two Boston health centers found that one in four were affected by the “process of care” failures such as inadequate physical examinations and incomplete diagnostic tests.

That’s one of the reasons that of the half a million deaths worldwide caused by breast cancer, an estimated 90 percent are the result of metastasis. But researchers at the Naval Medical Center San Diego and Google AI, a division within Google dedicated to artificial intelligence (AI) research, have developed a promising solution employing cancer-detecting algorithms that autonomously evaluate lymph node biopsies.

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Brilliant Invention! Vanguard System For Better Breast Cancer Detection

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Early Breast Cancer Treatment Has A New Face

If you have breast cancer or other breast disease, the sooner it’s found and treated the better. For a patient, the time between diagnostic test appointments and treatment intervention can seem interminable. This new MRI table and accompanying breast detection software not only take better pictures, but they allow immediate medical intervention, if needed. That’s why the Vanguard System inventor, Cameron Piron, President of Sentinelle Medical Inc. just received a Best Innovator 2008 Award from the Ontario Premier.

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