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Student develops rapid, pain-free home test for cervical cancer

By July 1, 2024July 3rd, 2024No Comments

A new test designed to detect cervical cancer by identifying HPV strains in menstrual blood has been developed by a student in London. Named Papcup, this device could potentially replace painful smear tests and delivers results in just 15 minutes.

The test was created by Sânziana Foia, a postgraduate bioengineering student at Imperial College London.

Traditional smear tests require an uncomfortable and invasive cervical swab performed in a clinic – deterring many women from undergoing the procedure – meaning this device could provide a more comfortable, convenient experience and boost testing rates.

According to NHS data, about a third of women in the UK skip their smear tests each year due to concerns about pain, embarrassment and fear.

Papcup operates by detecting cancer-causing HPV signs through analysing a small blood swab that women can collect at home. The device features a bio-sensor that measures the amount of HPV present in the sample. A prototype of Papcup has been created, and Ms. Foia hopes to commence clinical trials soon.

Health experts state that early detection of cancer-causing HPV strains could save lives. Evidence indicates that approximately 13 high-risk types of HPV are responsible for 99.7 percent of cervical cancers.

Ben Kemp