New Device Separates Cancer Cells With Sound Waves

A team of researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a device that separates cancer cells from healthy by sound waves.

This is a microchip that, in theory, improves the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, in addition to deepen the research on metastasis, the leading cause of death in patients with this disease.

Bernardo Chua ( has learned that the apparatus enables the sound waves to separate the existing cancer cells from hundreds of thousands of white blood cells, regardless of which are much less dense and smaller.

Thus, this development can replace the current techniques of genetic analysis of cancer.
Separating Cancer Cells With Sound Waves

The new technique, published in the journal “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” ( PNAS ), allows for analysis of cells up to 20 times faster than current methods.

Scientists have used the new test with real blood samples of three women with breast cancer, obtaining consistent results.

Moreover, the laboratory experiment with plasma samples prepared with low levels of cancer cells revealed that the device is capable of separating 83% of tumor cells.

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