Carla Cruz, researcher at the Health Sciences Research Centre (CICS-UBI) at University of Beira Interior (UBI), is the principal investigator of BIODEVICE, a MPP exploratory project, with the goal of developing an early and non-invasive diagnostic system for prostate cancer.

PI Carla CruzCarla Cruz presenting at the MIT portugal Annual Conference 2018

The researcher explains in 90 Segundos de Ciência that the project "aims to develop a biomedical device in which we will immobilize a molecule of G-quadruplex RNA, which will then detect a protein called nucleolin that is underexpressed in prostate cancer cells and in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of patients diagnosed with prostate cancer at various stages”.

Having this knowledge as basis, Carla Cruz intends to develop an early diagnosis device for prostate cancer that can be used in a urology consultation, as she describes "Our idea is to take a blood sample to a patient, and through the nucleolin values ​​present in the blood, check if there is a change or not and relate to a change that may exist in the prostate".

The detection of this protein will allow the clinician to understand whether or not the patient is at risk of developing prostate cancer and at what stage of the disease it is at the moment of the analysis.

The BIODEVICE project is funded by the MIT Portugal program and is supported by the Cova da Beira Hospital Center (CHCB) and the Institute of Systems and Computer Engineering - Microsystems and Nanotechnologies (INESC MN-IST).