UNT Researchers Create Polymer for Early Cancer Detection

UNT researchers created a polymer film that is at the heart of the research project.


Research teams from the University of North Texas and the Polish Academy of Sciences are collaborating to create a chemical sensor that could detect cancer at an early stage, according to a release from UNT.

Early detection greatly increases the chances of a successful treatment for the disease.

“Cancer, if detected and treated in the early stages is no longer a death threat,” Francis D’Souza, a University Distinguished Research Professor in UNT’s Department of Chemistry, said in the release. “However, early detection of several types of cancer is still a challenge, since tumors develop over a period of time without noticeable symptoms. One solution to this problem could be diagnostic tests available to everyone that could be performed at home on a regular basis.”

“Cancer, if detected and treated in the early stages is no longer a death threat.”
Francis D’Souza

According to the release, the chemosensor is a thin film of polymer that can detect the molecules of neopterin, a chemical compound that is found in the bodily fluids of humans.

Produced in the immune system, an increased presence of the chemical often is an indicator of a medical problem, the release said.

UNT said that even though the research is being conducted in Warsaw, Poland, under a grant from the National Science Centre, the polymer itself was created at the University of North Texas. The polymer film is still in the testing stages, the university said in the release.

You can find out more about the research here.

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