New cancer screening and monitoring treatment announced

August 27, 2018 by  

Lehigh University here in Bethlehem has developed a new method of molecular imaging that shows promise in the screening of cancer and the monitoring of its treatment via high-frequency microwaves.

The lab-on-a-chip method is anticipated to be faster, more easily transportable and more cost efficient than methods currently employed. This new method allows a single cell’s nucleus to be captured by a microfluidic device and analyzed, released and via microwave technology penetrated.

Xuanhong Cheng, PhD, a materials science and engineering associate professor at Lehigh University was quoted in a prepared statement as saying:

“High-frequency microwave has the advantage of being able to penetrate through the cell and into the nucleus, like an x-ray is able to do for the human body, but without harming the cell.”

In conjunction with fellow professor James Hwang, PhD, Cheng, plans to create an optical coherence tomography equivalent using microwaves. With a goal of better understanding cancer cell development and progression, the new process will enable the cell nucleus to be viewed and DNA content and nuclear morphology changes observed.

Printing services are often called in to help with the presentation of new medical equipment or processes to potential investors.

A three-year grant supplied by the National Science Foundation funded the research and it is hoped that eventually the engineers will improve their hardware to increase its detection sensitivity as well as develop their software to make more detailed computer models.