Researchers at Princeton University have made what they call a real breakthrough in nanotechnology by using it to improve diagnostic tests for diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s. The technology they say, makes the tests 3 million times MORE sensitive, means a huge boost in early detection. The earlier a disease is caught, the easier they are to treat and even cure. For people with Alzheimer’s, the earlier they are diagnosed the sooner they can begin drug therapies that may meaningfully prolong their quality of life.
Scientists at Stanford have also use the technology in tests to increase early detection of cancer.
“The earlier you can detect a cancer, the better chance you have to kill it,” Shan Wang, a Stanford professor of materials science and electrical engineering, said. “This could be especially helpful for lung cancer, ovarian cancer and pancreatic cancer, because those cancers are hidden in the body.”
The key to the breakthrough is D2PA, a new nanomaterial. Consisting of gold disks and glass pillars, they are so tiny, 1,000 of them are still not as wide as a human hair. Amazing.