MIT scientists develop an affordable screening method perfect for the developing world

Every year there are 15 million new cancer patients in the developing world, most of whom will never have access to the facilities needed to identify their illness. In an attempt to give these populations a chance at early detection, MIT engineers have developed a simple pee-on-a-stick test that can detect cancer in a matter of minutes.

The test works in conjunction with an injection of iron oxide nanoparticles, which interact with any tumors in the body to trigger the release of hundreds of biomarkers that can be detected in a patient’s urine. A similar idea was tested in 2012, but it required a highly specialized, and expensive, piece of equipment. MIT professor and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator Sangeeta Bhatia explains:

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