Scientists develop a cancer-detecting smartphone add-on that’s up to 99% accurate

Scientists develop a cancer-detecting smartphone add-on that’s up to 99% accurate

by Jessica Hall, EXTREME TECH

Researchers from Washington State University have come up with a diagnostic rig that can use a smartphone, a prism, and an ELISA plate to detect cancer. In the controlled settings of their lab, with the high-purity reagents they had to work with, the researchers were able to detect the cancer marker interleukin-6 (IL-6) with 99% accuracy.

Obviously results in the field will not reflect the near-ideal conditions of lab work. The concepts, though, are solid. The rig consists of a back lit ELISA assaying plate with 96 wells, a “micro-prism array,” and a 3D printed cradle that holds a smartphone with a camera. The diagnostician using the rig would take samples from a patient, put them in the assay plate, and turn on the back-light. Light would then shine up through the samples in the plate, through the prism, and into the smartphone’s camera — from where the technician can use an app to analyze the light from each individual well in the ELISA plate by its color. Which colors turn up tell the results of the ELISA test.

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