U at Buffalo, Intel win $1M NSF grant to develop implantable sensor for lung cancer detection

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A team of engineers from University at Buffalo (N.Y.), joined by Intel Corp. and Garwood Medical Devices, received a $1 million National Science Foundation grant to develop a lung cancer detection technique, UBNow reports.

The project, which launched Sept. 1, aims to create a sensor to implant under a patient's skin. The sensor will analyze biomarkers in a patient's blood to detect and monitor diseases, beginning with lung cancer.

"You can think of the sensor as a tiny tattoo — it won't move — that will be placed on a blood vessel just under your skin near your wrist," said Wayne Bacon, president and CEO of Garwood Medical Devices.

The diagnostic tool, sized 10 micrometers squared, will collect data when triggered by a specific type of light, to be emitted by a device inside a customized smart wristband. The researchers — comprising biomedical engineering, orthopedics, and chemical and biological engineering faculty — have planned a series of tests to examine the sensor in blood samples from lung cancer patients.

The wristband will also deliver data from the sensor to a smartphone or computer via Bluetooth.

"Existing wearables are only able to measure a few parameters," said Josep Jornet, PhD, assistant professor of electrical engineering at UB and the grant's principal investigator. "We are developing an integrated system that will provide a faster and more accurate way to diagnose and monitor diseases than conventional technologies."

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