DOHA: A device developed in Qatar can detect early stages of stomach cancer.
The capsule-size equipment, which examines the stomach and is being developed by Qatar University (QU) in partnership with TUFTS University and University of Washington, could replace an endoscope.
Named 'Integrated bio-sensors and automated instrumentation for early stomach cancer detect on using flexible capsule endoscope,' the device detects Helicobacter pylori
(H pylori), which causes stomach cancer, Dr John-John Cabibihan, Co-Lead Principal Investigator of the project, told this newspaper.
Stomach cancer or gastric cancer affects the stomach lining and bacterial infection is the most common cause, accounting for more than 60 percent of cases.
"The device we are developing is an endoscope of the size of a capsule, which functions with a sensor linked to a wire. We integrate it with a robotic device that moves it inside the stomach," said Dr Cabibihan, who is also an Associate Professor at the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department of QU.
The study is supported by Qatar national Research Fund's flagship funding programme -- National Priorities Research Programme, fourth cycle 2012-2016.
Dr Cabibihan said the device is important for Qatar and the region due to the rising incidence of stomach cancer and smoking, which is a major risk factor for the disease.
According to latest World Health Organization (WHO) data published in May 2014, there were 31 stomach cancer deaths in Qatar.
Figures show 12 percent of the country's population above 15 years smokes.
The capsule endoscope sensor aims at detecting concentrations of carbon dioxide and ammonia in both dissolved and gaseous forms. It is known that the two gases are released during the hydrolysis of urea by H pylori. The bacteria can inhabit in various areas of the stomach, especially close to the bottom.
"In addition, there is an electronic nose that can detect presence of the gases. We are at the end of the project, the sensor has been fully developed and electronic nose is in the final stages of experiment," said Dr Cabibihan.
Source : The Peninsula