Electric cancer test

An electrochemical technique could quickly and easily differentiate between diseased and healthy tissue in cancer diagnosis, according to work by Japanese researchers. The method is based on the direct potentiometric measurement of the tumor marker, sialic acid, on cell surfaces. Certain types of cancer involve an overproduction of sialic acid in tumor cells, by binding this marker to phenylboronic acid added to a sample, the researchers can increase binding to an electrode and so detect the presence of cells with high levels of sialic acid by a change in electrode potential.