I am sure most people would agree that anything entering something as sensitive as the anal cavity is sure to bother. Yes, anything at all. This puts invasive medical procedures such as colonoscopy into question. Physician Sangeeta Bhatia has been busy in designing a rather affordable medical test that can check for the presence of cancer. Rather than putting you through trouble, this test merely requires you to ingest a spoonful of yoghurt that contains synthetic nanoparticles and then submit a sample of urine. I don’t know about you but personally, that is definitely the one test I would pick.

Urine sample
Courtesy Image: Bryce Vickmark

Sangeeta developed this new synthetic nanoparticle which has the ability to produce biomarkers once it comes in contact with cancer cells. The biomarkers produced as a result can be spotted in the urine sample submitted by the patient. This helps detect the cancer and treat it as early as possible. Interestingly, this latest research is a follow up on a study conducted by Sangeeta herself that suggested that nanoparticles were able to detect cancer cells. She also discovered that they could break up into smaller pieces and collect in the kidneys. This is a result of the enzymes produced by them.

Cancer detecting yoghurt
Courtesy Image: Sunny Forest / Shutterstock

Sangeeta has been striving to somehow squeeze these nanoparticles in very small amounts of yoghurt. She plans on modifying the yoghurt bacteria such that it produces nanoparticles directly rather than having to add biomarkers to the mix. Her efforts do not end here; Sangeeta is busy making a company to commercialize this for general public. Her aim is to get this distributed to a number of developing countries where very few people are tested for the lethal disease due to the costs of medical procedures involved as well as the invasive procedures adopted. Here’s hoping that this works well for her and all those who depend on it.