Researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) of the United States (US) developed a smart phone-based device, called as D3 (Digital Diffraction Diagnosis) System, which performs rapid and accurate molecular diagnosis of cancerous tumors.
The discovery was revealed in the second week of April 2015 in a research paper titled Digital diffraction analysis enables low-cost molecular diagnostics on a smart phone. The paper was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) online journal.
Steps involved in cancer diagnosis using D3 System
Step 1: A sample of blood or tissue is extracted from the patient and is labelled with micro beads. These micro beads bind to known cancer related molecules and generate diffraction patterns during imaging.
Step 2: The D3 System containing an imaging module and a battery-powered LED (Light Emitting Diode) light is mounted on the camera of a smart phone.
Step 3: By using the smart phone, high-resolution imaging data of the sample is recorded.
Step 4: The recorded data is transmitted to a computer server over the Cloud for analysis.
Step 5: The server analyses the diffraction patterns generated by micro beads.
Step 6: Results will be sent back within an hour over the Cloud
Importance of the D3 System
• The system is capable of recording data on more than 10000 cells from a blood or tissue sample in a single image.
• It can accurately categorise the samples as high-risk or low-risk or benign depending on severity.
• The data generated by the system matches with the conventional gold standard pathology or HPV testing for molecular profiling.
• By using the system a single cancer diagnosis test can be conducted at a cost of 1.80 US dollars.
• It is a boon for people living in geographically disadvantaged areas.
Where: In USA
Why: To diagnose cancer