A new study recently published educates the public about how a 3-D printed phone case fitted on a Nokia Lumia 1020 can detect cancer-related genetic mutations. With a relatively simply microscope installed to the smartphone, researchers of the study were able to detect the possible existence of cancerous tumors. The accuracy of this detection process is reportedly similar to that of the regular cancer screening.
The study published in the journal Nature Communications brought awareness among the public about how a 3-D printed phone case can detect cancer, mutations related to cancer, bacteria and even viruses. This cost-effective case reportedly will make biopsies of cancer patients readily available even beyond the lab and when it is badly needed. The phone case is among the latest innovations involving 3-D printing and smartphones as tools for laboratory practices.
According to 3DPrint.com, the study titled "Targeted DNA sequencing and in situ mutation analysis using mobile phone microscopy" was done by researchers from the California NanoSystems Institute along with the Swedish scientists from the Stockholm University and Uppsala University. Co-author and professor Mats Nilsson of the Stockholm University explained the study saying "One can use a very simple imaging device such as the mobile phone to record DNA sequencing reactions."
The device is reportedly simple in structure. It utilizes two lasers operated by regular batteries and a white LED light that go into the microscope attached at the 3-D printed phone case. The original camera lens of the smartphone will be coupled with an external lens until they provide about 2.6x magnification. The 3-D printed microscopy platform then will be able to view sample slides from multiple directions. In the study, six colon cancer tumour samples were tested to check the accuracy of the 3-D printed phone case. After the test, the results were compared to that taken by the traditional genome and found a hundred percent accuracy, indicating that the tool is effective.
Apart from detecting cancerous tumors, creators of the technology foresees future applications that might include determining tuberculosis [TB] bacteria. Creators are also looking at a $500 price if the unit will be mass-produced. According to the Breaking News, the researchers used a 4-year-old Nokia Lumia 1020 unit in the study as it has a 40 megapixel camera. Researchers are expecting for the 3-D printed phone case to work on other smartphones, helping more people in cancer awareness.