MasSpec Pen is the latest technology that helps detect cancerous cells

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The latest advancement in the world of technology aims to make life easier for patients getting diagnosed with cancer tests. Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin have devised a device that can diagnose patients of cancer in few seconds. The device is compact and has a design very similar to a pen thus, it has been named MasSpec Pen. It is reportedly 150 times faster than already available technologies for cancer diagnosis and it has an accuracy rate of 96 percent.

Dr. Livia Schiavinato Eberlin, one of the researchers on the project, explained. "The user first touches the pen on the tissue and triggers the process using a foot pedal. The device was engineered in a way that it provides a tiny droplet of water to the pen tip, which interacts with the tissue, extracting biomolecules. Next, this droplet containing the biomolecule is transported to a mass spectrometer through a tube. The mass spectrometer is a very powerful analytical technique that measures and identifies molecules and generates a molecular profile or a molecular 'fingerprint.' This fingerprint is evaluated by a statistical classifier that provides a predictive diagnosis with an associated probability. This whole process takes a total of 10 seconds and is non-destructive to the tissue."

The technology helps surgeons in removing minute traces of cancerous cells. The device has already been tested on human tissue samples. The technology has also been tested during animal surgeries.

The technology aims to reduce the repeated surgeries performed on patients dealing with cancer.



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