Real-Time Monitoring of Tumors By a New Sensor

Doctors and researchers may be able to provide better insights on how cancers respond to therapies with the help of a first-of-its-kind wearable technology.

The fight against cancer has advanced significantly thanks to medicine. Thanks to variables including earlier detection and improvements in medication treatment, the average person’s risk of dying from cancer in the United States has fallen by 32% over the previous three decades.

Even Nevertheless, there are still many people who develop cancer despite rising survival rates. Cancer is the second most common cause of death in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society. And researchers are still trying to find a strategy to defeat cancer.

However, a wearable device, a new tool, can now wirelessly transmit tumour growth or shrinkage measurements to a smartphone for analysis in real time. The tool has been successfully employed in animal research and is currently in use.

According to Alex Abramson, PhD, assistant professor in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Georgia Tech and a co-author of a new study of the device, “Our technology is the first bioelectronic device to monitor tumour regression, and the first technology to monitor tumours in real time.”

The sensor employs technology comparable to other stretchy, skin-like wearable gadgets that can record physiological information, including through perspiration. But what distinguishes this sensor from others is the chemical component that allows it to spot tumour changes: gold.

Due to its flexibility and conductivity, gold is a useful substance. The skin surrounding the tumour is covered with a gold-infused sensor in the new monitors in order to measure it. The gold coating cracks and loses conductivity as the tumour enlarges. Those fissures seal and the substance becomes more conductive as the tumour contracts.

According to Abramson, “We quantify these changes in conductivity and translate this into measurements of changes in tumour volume.”

Calipers and bioluminescence imaging are now the two most popular techniques for determining the size of tumours (BLI). Although useful and precise, these measurements are usually taken once every few days or weeks. In addition to being able to detect incredibly small changes that callipers and BLI can’t, the new sensor captures updates every five minutes.

According to Abramson, “this sensor will enable us to better understand the immediate impacts of medications on tumours and provide scientists and medical professionals a more simplified technique to evaluate drugs that potentially become therapies in the future.”

Although it will be several years before the sensors are created for human use, they are presently accessible for use in animal experiments. And for something that contains gold, they are less expensive than you might think.

According to Abramson, a researcher can create the sensor for less $60.

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