An international research team at Swansea University in the UK recently received an international award for developing a graphene biosensor-based diagnostic test for ovarian cancer that is said to offer quicker and more accurate results in a less expensive, as well as portable way.
The team received the i3S-Hovione Capital Health Innovation Prize, an international award aimed at distinguishing innovative ideas in the health sector, for developing a device — called ‘MagCyte’ — that can diagnose ovarian cancer in a couple of minutes using only a single drop of blood. The portable technology is different from the tests currently used in hospitals and allows for increased flexibility when monitoring patients, even if they have already been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. According to the development team, the innovative technology allows for the diagnosis of ovarian cancer up to four years before it can be diagnosed through the technology currently available.
The new device not only simplifies and brings down the costs of ovarian cancer testing, but it also does not require a technically advanced laboratory or a specialized clinician to operate it, meaning it can be operated in smaller health centers. The device can also be used with other biomarkers to detect other diseases.
As part of the prize, the team received €35,000 in financing and services, including a market study, creation of a business plan, technology validation by industrial experts, and support in setting up a company based on their winning device. “The Hovione prize will allow the team to initiate the process of moving our device from the lab to the patient. Whilst there is much work to be done, this is an important step towards the better and earlier diagnosis of patients with ovarian cancer. Cooperation between the two European centers has been key in realizing this achievement,” the team leader said.