A new biomedical probemade from food waste, it could help doctors prevent cancer from forming.
This tiny instrument, barely one billionth of a meter large, has the ability to recognize "sick" cells. In particular, it uses fluorescence - it becomes fluorescent - when the pH of the cell it approaches signals problems in acidity or alkalinity levels.
When these two values increase in the cells of the body, cancer could be around the corner. It is therefore right to do in-depth examinations to understand what is wrong.
The discovery of Pooria Lesani could vastly speed up the process of identifying serious diseases, saving the lives of hundreds of patients.
Professor Hala Zreiqat, AM Director of the ARC Center for Innovative BioEngineering and Head of the Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering Unit, oversaw the entire research.
"Dramatic fluctuations in cell acidity can lead to inappropriate cell function, growth and division, and can lead to severe disease. (...) We have developed a sensitive and cost-effective nanobiosensor for real-time measurement of cell acidity. "Pooria Lesani, Sydney Nano Institute
A probe made through scraps
The "Nanobiosensor", this is the name of the biomedical probe created by the team of specialized doctors, is achieved through the use of rotten orange juice.
Food waste is in fact an excellent source of precious material, necessary for the creation of fluorescent carbon dots that surround the nanobiosensor.
Doctors chose oranges because of their high levels of ascorbic acid, which is very useful in making the device reactive and functional.
Il Chemical Engineering Journal has published how the probe works, how it works and what is the right way to use it in the medical field.
Apparently, it all starts with performing a tissue biopsy of "suspicious" cells, which could be cancerous.
The material obtained from the biopsy is then placed inside a Petri dish, and the nanobiosenore applied to the cells through a dropper.
The whole capsule is then examined under a fluorescence microscope, so that small variations in light can be observed.
The importance of prevention
According to the first results of the research, the nanobiosensor probe could help not only the prevention cancer, but also that of several other diseases.
These are Lesani's words about it:
"Many diseases begin to develop over the course of many years, and even decades, before a person shows even the slightest symptom. With many diseases like Alzheimer's, once there are symptoms, it's too late to cure them. Our device allows for a more accurate diagnosis of the disease before the onset of symptoms, as well as allowing for the early diagnosis of serious diseases associated with fluctuations in the pH.
"Hopefully this can lead to early treatment and prevention of serious illness. Current test methods can be complex, expensive and time-consuming, while our nanobiosensor can easily be produced on a large scale at low cost."
Again, doctors remind the importance of prevention. Acting in advance is the only solution, especially when we are talking about serious and difficult to cure diseases.
Lesani's research pushes us to think differently, combining the needs of man with the needs of the Earth. Food waste decreases and, at the same time, people have the opportunity to recover in total serenity.