Diamonds Can Detect Early Stage Cancer
Aside from being used as a gift for significant events in the form of rings, necklaces, and so on, diamonds are also used for many industrial and scientific purposes. But the chemical properties of this carbon compounds also exhibits a superb medical characteristic of detecting cancer in their early stages, giving the affected people a chance to stop it at the beginning, at least according to the claims by a new study from the University of Sydney.
David Reilly and his colleagues, while examining diamond, had noticed that when its synthetic version is used in combination with MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging, it could be applied in detecting the presence of cancer at its recent stages of growth. What’s even better is that unlike its real counterparts, synthetic diamonds are cheap and available everywhere, and hence we could potentially witness a new way of detecting cancer in the near future should this theory be confirmed.
The researchers used the method of hyperpolarizing very small particles of diamonds, aligning the atoms inside in a manner that it can be scanned through an MRI frequency. These ‘hyperpolarized’ diamonds are then sent attached to chemicals which target cancer, thus allowing the doctor to track the movements of the diamond particles as they navigate within the patient’s body.
Thus, this way a doctor can easily detect the presence of cancer in a person’s body without any of the medical complications associated with a regular method of detection, explains Reilly. The researchers cross their fingers in the hopes that this method would be successful in detection of brain and pancreatic cancer, which are among the deadliest ones known to this date.
The study, which got published in the journal Nature Communications, will undergo tests on mice in the coming days. On the downside, however, testing everything before actually using it in day-to-day practice can possibly take years to come to fruition.