Cancer invades, and cancer steals. Cancer creeps quietly into your life without your knowledge, and finds shelter within you. It sits comfortably in you, and if you’re lucky, you’d find it’s benign. If luck fails you, it will get out of control and seize the rest of your body. Cancer comes, and most of the time, lives go. It’s something we are usually unaware of, and by the time we seek to be healed, it’s too late. And so they say, if you want to beat cancer, early detection is crucial to your survival.
Miroculus, a group of entrepreneurs, microbiologists, and data scientists, has therefore decided to make cancer screenings user-friendly and more accessible. Here’s Miriam, a low-cost, open source device that recently made its public debut. While it’s still in its early stages, this low-cost, open source device intends to make regular cancer screenings as simple as getting your blood drawn.
The steps are quite simple. All it requires is a simple blood sample that’s pipetted into a standard 96 well plate. The sample is then loaded into the device for about an hour. Each well in the plate has a set of patented biochemical reagents to detect certain miRNA (a class of small molecules that can reveal the specific type of cancer one might have). If present, the well will glow green. A smartphone is then used to analyse the speed of reaction and any data that can be used to provide an accurate diagnosis. At this point, the device has been able to point out miRNA patterns for pancreatic, lung, and breast cancers.
Miriam makes a great way to detect and monitor cancer cells in places where conditions aren’t ideal. The effectiveness of it though, is based on contextual information, or data, which is what Miroculus is driven by. Its CEO, Alejandro Tocigl, believes that their value will be in the information they gather, how information is correlated, and the answers concluded. Till Miriam’s made official, it will be making its rounds partaking in clinical trials. Eventually, it will be launched with pharmaceutical companies, which will use it to monitor the way patients react to new drugs. Through that, Miroculus will be able to collect enough miRNA-related data needed, enough to seek an FDA stamp of approval.
Whenever the stamp is made, we can’t tell for sure. The device seems as good as it sounds, but it’s like they say, time and tide wait for no man. Get off your sorry ass and go get your check-up done soon.
Visit Miroculus for more information