Anil Vishnu G. K., a Ph.D. student at the Centre for BioSystems Science and Engineering (BSSE), jointly supervised by Prof. Hardik J. Pandya (DESE) and Prof. Annapoorni Rangarajan (MRDG), has been selected for the prestigious Gandhian Young Technological Innovation Award (GYTI), 2020. The accolade to the team is for the project focused on developing a portable diagnostic platform for rapid label-free phenotyping of breast cancer.
In the case of breast cancer surgery, the current protocol to assist the surgeon in determining surgical margin involves intra-operative frozen section examination which requires the surgically removed sample to be sent to the pathology lab. This process is time consuming, requires the expertise of a skilled personal (Oncopathologist), and further suffers from poor sample preparation leading to inconclusive diagnosis. To aid the surgeon and the oncopathologist in rapid diagnosis as well as surgical margin assessment inside the operation room, we have designed and developed a portable diagnostic platform. The platform is integrated with microchips, electronic modules, actuators, and firmware for control and data acquisition in a label-free manner. The electrical, thermal, and mechanical modalities of the breast biopsy tissues are measured and analyzed for delineating normal from cancer. After studying a large cohort of samples, the team envisages this platform to be used inside the operation room for rapid surgical margin assessment.
A provisional patent for the invention has been filed at the Indian patent office.