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January 26, 2011 / Martijn

New ‘Breast on a Chip’

Purdue University researchers have built a chip-sized replica of a portion of the human female breast, and aim to use it to study nanoparticles for detection and targeting of tumor cells. The “breast on a chip” is the first step in studying the mammary ducts from the inside, which could help doctors diagnose and treat the disease in its earliest stages, researchers say. The chip mimics the branching mammary duct system, where it is believed most breast cancers originate. It involves living cells lining a small 3-D replica of the tiniest portions of the mammary ducts, which are roughly the diameter of a human hair.



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