Nneoma Okonkwo, a second-year student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is working with Leidong Mao of the UGA College of Engineering and Carsten Schroeder of Georgia Regents University on a device that one day may allow physicians to diagnose lung cancer patients without the need for painful and expensive tumor biopsies. The device, a cell enrichment microfluidic chip, would allow doctors to monitor a patient’s blood for circulating tumor cells, or CTC’s. The concentration of CTC’s in the bloodstream is believed to be an important indicator of cancer progression and metastasis. Nneoma is one of ten students from across the nation selected to participate in the UGA Engineering Nanotechnology and Biomedical Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program this summer.
Written by Mike Wooten