The hi-tech patch capable of monitoring the size of tumors present under the skin is ready: applied in experiments on mice, it will allow to test the effectiveness of anticancer drugs in real time, much faster than what is happening now and in a much faster way. reliable, thus allowing promising ones to reach human patients first.
The new device, developed by researchers led by the US University of Stanford, who published the results obtained in the journal Science Advances, is completely non-invasive, battery-powered and can transmit the results directly to a smartphone app.
The hi-tech patch, called Fast (Flexible Autonomous Sensor measuring Tumors), is composed of a flexible and elastic material very similar to the skin that also includes circuits made of gold and is connected to a small electronic component.
The sensor measures the tension of the skin, i.e. how much it stretches or shortens, and transmits the data to a smartphone in real time.
In this way, potential therapies related to tumor size regression can be quickly ruled out if ineffective, or tested in further studies.
According to the researchers, led by Alex Abramson, the new device offers three significant advantages: the ability to carry out constant monitoring, since it always remains in contact with the mouse's skin, the ability to envelop the tumor without compressing it, and therefore measure changes. of shape difficult to distinguish with other methods, and finally the fact of being autonomous and non-invasive, leaving the animal free to move.
“Fast could speed up, automate and even significantly reduce the cost of the cancer therapy screening process,” says Abramson.