London, Feb 4 : Researchers have developed a new technique that has the potential to identify specific lung cancer markers at the earliest possible stage in a convenient and reusable way.
The new technique could create a highly sensitive graphene biosensor with the capability to detect molecules of the most-common lung cancer biomarkers.
In addition, the new biosensor design could revolutionise the existing electronic nose (e-nose) devices that identify specific components of a specific vapour mixture -- a person's breath -- and analyses its chemical make-up to identify the cause.
"The new biosensors which we have developed show that graphene has significant potential for use as an electrode in e-nose devices.
"For the first time, we have shown that with suitable patterning graphene can be used as a specific, selective and sensitive detector for biomarkers," said Ben Hogan, postgraduate researcher from the University of Exeter in Britain.
With further development of the devices, a cheap, reusable and accurate breath test for early-stage detection of lung cancer can become a reality, the researchers added in a paper published in the journal Nanoscale.
Lung cancer is one of the most common and aggressive cancers, killing around 1.4 million people worldwide each year.