Rutgers University researchers have developed a sophisticated, AI-powered medical device that can monitor and determine, with 95.6% accuracy, whether targeted chemotherapy drugs are effective on individual patients.

Documented in a study published in the journal Microsystems & Nanoengineering, the portable device utilizes artificial intelligence-powered embedded software and biosensors. According to the Rutgers-based study, it is up to 95.6% accurate in actually calculating live cancer cells when they pass through electrodes.

Background

The Rutgers team, including study co-author Joseph R. Bertino, had developed a therapeutically-driven method to target cancer cells. By developing a way to bind a specific chemotherapy drug to an antibody, they were able to facilitate the isolation of tumor cells for targeting purposes, minimizing any interaction with healthy cells.

A positive patient response involves the materialization of matriptase, a protein generated by the tumor cells. Patients benefit while the standard chemotherapy side effects are reduced.

The New Jersey research group validated the device utilizing cancer cell samples treated with various levels of anti-cancer drug concentrations. By monitoring and measuring shifts in electrical properties of cancer cells as they pass through a tiny fluidic hole, the device can determine cell state.

The hope would be to apply this device by using it to test cancer therapies on samples of patient tumors prior to treatment administration.

Study Lead Comment

Mehdi Javanmard, assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, School of Engineering, Rutgers University-New Brunswick, noted “We build a portable platform that can predict whether patients will respond positively to targeted cancer therapy” and concluded that this “technology combines artificial intelligence and sophisticated biosensors that handle tiny amounts of fluids to see if cancer cells are sensitive or resistant to chemotherapy drugs.”

Lead Research/Investigator

Joseph R. Bertino, Resident Researcher, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, professor at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Karan Ahuja, PostDoc

Gulam M. Rather, Postdoc

Source: Nature

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