Researchers at Houston’s Rice University are developing an implant that could diminish deaths caused by cancer by half.
The device will contain synthetically nurtured human cells and be embedded with sensors to keep track of cancer cells as they mutate, Knewz.com has learned.
The implant will be no longer than 3 inches long. By: Rice University© Knewz (CA)
In Texas alone, 130,000 new cases are diagnosed annually — 42,000 of which end in death.
The Targeted Hybrid Oncotherapeutic Regulation (THOR) team will be developing a Hybrid Advanced Molecular Manufacturing Regulator (HAMMR) implant that is just 3 inches long, KHOU-TV Houston reports.
The team recently received a federal grant of $45 million for the project, according to Rice University.
“We know [the implants] are safe,” said Rice Assistant Professor of Bioengineering Omid Veiseh, the team’s principal investigator.
The device will house sensors and synthesize human cells. By: Rice University© Knewz (CA)
“We know we can program them into whatever biologic we want, and yeah, they’ll be grown in a factory and loaded into the device and when they reside in the abdomen they’re alive — meaning they get nutrients from your body like our other cells that exist and leverage that and turn it into the drugs,” Veiseh said.
“This device will communicate wirelessly, potentially with a smartphone, and also be chargeable externally,” said Dr. Amir Jazaeri, an investigator with the project.
Additionally, the device should only need to be embedded in the body for two months, hinting at the time frame it would need to cure the cancer patient.
The device is expected to significantly reduce the time used to attain test results as with current technology.
Given the complex nature of the device, the HAMMR program will incorporate 20 different labs across the country and draw on a plethora of specialties ranging from material science to artificial intelligence and electrical engineering.