Joshua Smith: New nanotech to detect cancer early
Joshua Smith - Cancer fighter
Motivated by his wife's bout with cancer, IBM's Joshua Smith applies his engineering expertise to early diagnosis. Full bio
those three words within our lifetime,
of your closest friends and relatives
with some form of cancer,
of cancer survivors here in the US
more likely to declare bankruptcy
doesn't have to be a death sentence.
to improving treatment options,
aims of my research --
of breast cancer for example,
and treated at stage one
of nearly 100 percent --
if treated at stage four.
for colorectal and ovarian cancer.
that an early diagnosis that is accurate
cancer diagnostic tools are invasive,
amount of time to get the results back.
to some forms of cancer,
liver or pancreatic cancer,
until physical symptoms surface,
indicators of late-stage progression.
without an early warning system,
are greatly reduced.
of regular screening options
and could provide results much sooner,
weapon in the fight against cancer.
to get out ahead of the disease
following in its relentless wake.
I've been developing technologies
by a deep scientific curiosity,
with breast cancer.
and unexpected emotional dimension
treatment can be,
of the emotional havoc
included our two young daughters.
during a routine mammogram,
primarily on treatment options
how important an early diagnosis is.
screening option for breast cancer.
for having a mammogram.
a lot of room for improvement,
that do have screening options,
for those that don't.
for cancer researchers
for many types of cancers
where during your regular checkup,
a simple, noninvasive urine sample,
before you even leave the doctor's office.
dramatically reduce the number of people
of an early-stage cancer diagnosis.
of engineers and biochemists
activate an early-stage cancer alarm
that would start when a person is healthy
to stop cancer the moment it emerges,
beyond its infancy.
are tiny vesicles,
by cells called exosomes.
for the development of cancer.
in just about every bodily fluid,
for noninvasive liquid biopsies.
these important biomarkers
that we call nano-DLD
early-warning weapon, if you will,
nanometers in diameter.
of them into a single red blood cell.
between a golf ball
for unwanted cellular waste,
that cells actually communicate
collected from their cell of origin.
into the receiving cell,
fundamental changes in gene expression --
in the material of the mother cell,
of that cell's health and its origin.
make exosomes invaluable messengers
at the cellular level.
intercept these messages
troublemakers within your body
screening is so critical
technologies to make this possible.
emerged on the market just this year,
of mainstream healthcare options.
their widespread adoption
exosome isolation system exists
for exosome isolation
expensive laboratory equipment,
to process a sample.
for achieving automated exosome isolation
so successfully for the past 50 years.
of this technology
to the true nanoscale.
separated by nanoscopic gaps
the fluid into streamlines,
nanoparticles being separated
from the smaller, healthier ones,
in a zigzag-type motion
of these two particle populations.
that separates into two roads,
a low-clearance tunnel under a mountain,
can go through the tunnel
carrying potentially hazardous material,
by size and contents
on a much, much smaller scale.
the separation process for screening
a sample of urine, blood or saliva,
within the next few years.
to isolate and detect target exosomes
a particular type of cancer,
their presence within minutes.
and enrich biomarkers
in an automated way,
diseases such as cancer,
from sample preparation to diagnostics,
monitoring to therapeutics.
the automation of this process --
made the automobile accessible
and a car in every garage,"
an early-warning cancer detection system
every man, woman and child
while they're still healthy,
avoid the high costs --
we caught my wife's cancer early,
for everyone with a cancer diagnosis.
has already done
that within the next decade,
our family and future generations.
as to be diagnosed with cancer,
will provide a strong beacon of hope.
About the speaker:Joshua Smith - Cancer fighter
Motivated by his wife's bout with cancer, IBM's Joshua Smith applies his engineering expertise to early diagnosis.
Why you should listen
As a research scientist and technical team lead for IBM's Nanobiotechnology Program, Dr. Joshua Smith researches innovative healthcare technologies at the intersection of engineering and biology to better understand disease progression.
Smith's team recently developed a chip-based solution that can rapidly isolate biomarkers as small as 20 nanometers to help identify cancer development even before symptoms occur. He is a sought-after speaker on the subject of lab-on-a-chip applications for healthcare and his work has been highlighted by Forbes, CNN Money, IEEE Spectrum and Pharma Technology Focus, among other media outlets. As a Research Staff Member and IBM Master Inventor, Smith has co-authored more than a dozen peer-reviewed scientific publications and is a co-inventor of more than 30 issued patents.
Currently, Smith is focusing on the development of a suite of core capabilities to manipulate, separate and detect individual macromolecules, providing a technological backbone for automation in sample preparation, diagnostics and therapeutics. When not with his colleagues in the lab, Smith enjoys teaching tomorrow's researchers and engineers at Columbia University.
Joshua Smith | Speaker | TED.com