Chipping away at cancer

| June 22, 2012
Three Northeastern student-researchers have developed a screening chip that uses nanoparticles to detect colorectal cancer earlier than ever before. Photo by Casey Bayer.

Three Northeastern student-researchers have developed a screening chip that uses nanoparticles to detect colorectal cancer earlier than ever before. Photo by Casey Bayer.

In the last two decades, the number of deaths from col­orectal cancer has steadily declined, according to the Amer­ican Cancer Society. While some of the decrease can be attrib­uted to better treat­ment prac­tices, early detec­tion is another pri­mary factor. Nonethe­less, col­orectal cancer is still the second leading cause of death among men and women in the U.S., and is expected to be respon­sible for more than 50,000 deaths in 2012.

“Each of us has wit­nessed cancer in our home,” said phar­ma­ceu­tical sci­ences grad­uate stu­dent Jaydev Upponi, who has helped design a new tech­nology to “give back, to con­tribute sci­ence that could help in the long run.”

Upponi and his class­mates, elec­trical and com­puter engi­neeringgrad­uate stu­dent Asan­terabi Malima and mechan­ical engi­neering grad­uate stu­dent Cihan Yilmaz, recently founded a com­pany to develop a screening chip that uses nanopar­ti­cles to detect col­orectal cancer ear­lier than cur­rently possible.

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