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Purdue researchers develop 3D technology to detect deadly cancers

Early detection screenings can help recognize certain cancers, but the new Disease on-a-chip method researchers have created could lead to a more accurate reading.

Posted: Jul 29, 2018 5:23 PM
Updated: Jul 30, 2018 3:42 AM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI)— Researchers at Purdue are developing a new way to spot cancer with 3D technology.

Early detection screenings can help recognize certain cancers, but the new Disease on-a-chip method researchers have created, could lead to a more accurate reading.

A new technique scientist Rahim Rahimi said this could mimic tissue in the human body.

"We are basically creating that trench that has the similar structure," said Rahimi. "The geometry that is currently seen in breast tissue will be used in these tests. "

The National Cancer Institute states breast, prostate and pancreatic cancer make up 30% of new the cancer cases in the United States. The study focuses on these three most aggressive forms of cancer. 

Tumors formed by researchers will examine and help decide the best treatment for each specific patient.

Rahimi said screenings used to detect cancer today do not have the same dimensions as a regular muscle tissue does.

Once the discs are cut, researchers drop the liquid cells on top of the device. Depending on the cancer cell, it takes 2-3 days to form the nodule.

Biologist Farzaneh Atrian said being able to look deeper can help find what is forming inside.

"In this model, we are able to create a 3D structure of the tumor," said Atrain. "When you have the structure of the tumor, you treat the cancer cells with the drug they would behave very similar to what we have in our body. "

She hopes this will save more lives, more efficiently.

"Using this device would help us getting better results than a drug screening."

Disease on-a-chip is still in the development process. Researchers hope this will be used in labs as a screening device in the near future.

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