MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russian scientists have invented a biohybrid device that uses rats to detect early-stage lung cancer in record time, Alexander Panfilov, who leads medical research at the FPI state foundation, told Sputnik.
"This biohybrid system uses rats as a detector. Electrodes are placed in a rat to create a mathematical device that interprets its biorhythms as its receptors react to tumor markers in the exhaled air," he said.
Panfilov said this was not the first time animals were used in attempt to diagnose cancer. But the Russian Foundation for Advanced Research Projects’ rat detector was the first to actually work.
"Our diagnosis system can detect first and second-stage cancer by analyzing a patient’s exhaled air in a very short time… The chance to detect lung cancer in the second and third stage is over 90 percent," he said.
Dogs have also been found to be able to identify cancer by smell, he said, but the rat device has "automatized the process," allowing large numbers of patients to be checked for lung cancer and tuberculosis in under five minutes. The scientists are working to reduce that time to a minute or less.