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IPFS News Link • Science, Medicine and Technology

Hand-held Test for Breast Cancer Uses Your Saliva and Gives Accurate Readings in 5 Seconds


A new hand-held portable device is not only extremely quick and easy to use but very cost effective, say scientists from the University of Florida and National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University in Taiwan.

The device itself, about the size of your hand, uses common components that cost just five dollars and uses widely available glucose testing strips costing just a few cents each.

The biosensor works by using paper test strips treated with specific antibodies that interact with the targeted cancer biomarkers.

When a drop of saliva is placed on the strip, pulses of electricity are sent to electrical contact points on the biosensor device.


Compared to the costly alternatives of Mammograms, which expose women to radiation—or MRIs and ultrasounds which require expensive equipment—researchers called the device revolutionary.

The team believes their device, which uses the open-source hardware-software platform Arduino, can help people in remote areas to detect breast cancer early on.

The study's author, University of Florida PhD student Hsiao-Hsuan Wan said, "Imagine medical staff conducting breast cancer screening in communities or hospitals."

"In many places, especially in developing countries, advanced technologies like MRI for breast cancer testing may not be readily available," she said. "Our technology is cost-effective, with the reusable circuit board priced at $5."