A group of researchers from the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center has invented an economical and non-invasive technology to detect the presence of Cancerous cells as well as other life threatening diseases like Ebola. This alternative approach towards medical technology detects biomarkers of diseases by analyzing nucleic acids. Adam R. Hall, assistant professor of biomedical engineering at WFBM and lead author of the study explained that the newest technology could use a finger prick blood test to ascertain the results.
Nucleic acids, the primary constituent of our body are an assembly of sequences of bases stretching from just a few to millions of elements long. The assigned order of the bases directly corresponds to the functions of the cells.
20 base long microRNAs, which are a type of nucleic acid were proven to store information about a variety of diseases including Cancer. But due to its critically small size, instruments were unable to detect them. The team took the help of nanotechnology to determine whether a mixture has a nucleic acid sequence and quantify the information using an electronic signature. Hall implied that the nucleic acid forms a double helix probe which generates a clear representation of the required signal.