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A device that can detect cancer cells in your urine

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A device that can detect cancer cells in your urine

Scientists in the University of Nagoya in Japan, successfully developed a new device made of nano cables capable of detecting microscopic levels of cancer in the urine, which could help to improve the diagnostic and treatment of this mortal disease.

The extracellular gallbladders, which you can easily identify as little chunks of a cell that detach and flow through the body to send messages to the other cells, are recognized as crucial traders in the cellular communication and could potentially, serve as a cancer detection method.


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The device developed showed the potential to efficiently capture the gallbladders (EV), and determine with a simple test if the patient suffers from this illness. Although, this is known, the EV content in the urine is too low, less than 0.00 % of the total volume of the liquid, which represents an important barrier in the diagnosis utility.

The main author of the study, Doctor Takao Yasui, said about it: “The constant challenge for physicians in any field is to find a noninvasive diagnosis technique that allows them to monitor their patients in a regular way, for example, a simple urine test”.

This new device with nano cables impregnated in zinc oxide in an specialized polymer, has proven to be extremely proficient in collecting the extracellular gallbladders, the scientists register a collection average bigger than the 99% overlapping the ultracentrifugation, as well as all the other methods used in the field nowadays.

Using the device, the scientists could identify microRNA, that are tiny pieces of ribonucleic acid that play different roles in the normal cellular biology, the presence of some microRNA can serve as an alert sign for bad conditions as prostate and bladder cancer.

To test this device, the team compared the microRNA in an isolated EV of healthy patients and also in patients who were already diagnosed with prostate or bladder cancer as well as other variations of the illness, in comparison with the standard of the industry, they found a substantially higher number of different kinds of microRNA in just 1 ml of water.

Researchers says that finding a specific marker with a chance of being copied to help to confirm a cancer diagnosis is really difficult, and this is especially true for the microRNA  because they are a relatively new kind of markers in the field. Nevertheless, on this same line, new combinations of microRNA were identified, which could be associated with different types of cancer. These are just preliminary findings, of course, but scientists hope that this device can help to set the base for the development of new and easy methods for illness diagnosis.


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