Mihri Ozkan of Electrical Engineering and Cengiz Ozkan of Mechanical Engineering at UCR’s Bourns College of Engineering are developing devices 100,000 times thinner than a human hair, that can listen to cancerous cells, deliver chemotherapy to them and leave surrounding healthy tissue intact.
Standard practice of injecting dyes into cells to find those affected by a certain disease has unintended, often unwanted, effects.
Focusing on the electrical signals cells emit is far more benign process and one that holds a great deal of promise, when coupled with nanofabrication techniques.
“You effectively listen to the cells. The ones with cancer emit a different signal than healthy ones,” said Cengiz Ozkan. Using DNA and nanotube technologies, he is also developing a drug delivery system that targets the cancerous cells.