Implant to trap cancer cellsBy Rashmi Kalia
In a research study conducted on mice, researchers from the US have invented a small sponge-like implant that could suck up cancer cells, BBC News reports.
Findings of the study appeared in Nature Communications.
Researchers expect the device to perform the function of a warning system in patients in relation to the spread of cancer. The implant will also aid in inhibiting cancer cells from spreading to other parts of the body.
As per study leader Prof Lonnie Shea, from the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan,
"We need to see if metastatic cells will show up in the implant in humans like they did in the mice, and also if it's a safe procedure and that we can use the same imaging to detect cancer cells".
The implant is about 5mm (0.2in) in diameter and is made of a material that has already been approved for use in medical devices. However, the implant has so far been tested in mice with breast cancer.
Experiments have revealed that implant, when planted in the abdominal fat or beneath the skin, captures cancer cells circulating in the body.
According to BBC News, Lucy Holmes, Cancer Research UK's science information manager, said: "We urgently need new ways to stop cancer in its tracks.
"So far this implant approach has only been tested in mice, but it's encouraging to see these results, which could one day play a role in stopping cancer spread in patients."