Smartphone Accessory Detects Cancer In Remote Regions
Solar-powered test uses 100 times less energy than traditional methods.
Kaposi’s sarcoma is a type of cancer linked to AIDS, and remains commonplace across Africa due to a lack of basic medical care and simple lab tests. Thankfully, Cornell University engineers have created a solar-powered smartphone accessory that can detect the problem, and also be adapted for other ailments such as E. coli and hepatitis.
The device consists of a smartphone, an app, a lens and a tiny round chip, which are used to carry out a chemical test. Gold nanoparticles are combined with slices of DNA that bind to Kaposi’s DNA sequences in a solution, which is then added to a microfluidic chip. In the presence of viral DNA, particles clump together and limit how much light can travel through the solution, which also causes a color change.