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Understanding Cancer Series

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  • Posted: 01/28/2005

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Slide 10


Cantilevers Can Make Cancer Tests Faster and More Efficient

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One nanodevice that can improve cancer detection and diagnosis is the cantilever. These tiny levers, which are anchored at one end, can be engineered to bind to molecules that represent some of the changes associated with cancer. They may bind to altered DNA sequences or proteins that are present in certain types of cancer. When these molecules bind to the cantilevers, surface tension changes, causing the cantilevers to bend. By monitoring the bending of the cantilevers, scientists can tell whether molecules are present. Scientists hope this property will prove effective when cancer-associated molecules are present--even in very low concentrations--making cantilevers a potential tool for detecting cancer in its early stages.  

Cantilevers Can Make Cancer Tests Faster and More Efficient