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Tata-IIT pact on cancer detector

IIT Roorkee’s team of professors and researchers has developed a simple, easy-to-use breath-based detector for early detection of the disease

Animesh Bisoee Jamshedpur Published 22.10.22, 01:50 AM
IIT Roorkee

IIT Roorkee File Photo

Tata Steel’s new materials business (NMB) has signed a technology-transfer deal with IIT Roorkee on Monday for a breath-based cancer detector in an effort to make non-invasive early-stage diagnosis affordable.

IIT Roorkee’s team of professors and researchers has developed a simple, easy-to-use breath-based detector (BLO detector) for early detection of cancer.


“Tata Steel is constantly working towards fostering a culture of innovation and continuous improvement to drive excellence. We intend to leverage this opportunity with IIT Roorkee to develop and deploy the BLO detector,” said Tata Steel vice-president (NMB) Debashish Bhattacharjee.

The device, which works on the principles of colorimetry, is able to detect presence of breast, lung and oral cancer.

“BLO detector will be important for screening a large pool of the population, who are susceptible to any of these three types of cancer. A positive result in this test will ensure a quick visit to a doctor for a detailed diagnosis and treatment. This will have a huge impact on increasing the survival rate of cancer patients, specifically of these three types of cancer,” a statement issued by Tata Steel in Jamshedpur said on Friday.

The device has undergone an initial clinical test at the Cancer Research Institute in Dehradun, with a sensitivity and specificity of 96.11 per cent and 94.67 per cent, respectively.

“Tata Steel would further improve upon the design and use efficiency of the prototype on commercial terms, re-evaluate the efficacy in collaboration with Tata Medical Centre, Calcutta and thereafter commercialise the device under medical material and devices, New Materials Business,” the statement added.

The medical material and devices business unit of Tata Steel NMB focuses on developing novel, indigenous and

affordable solutions and reducing import dependency in various sectors of health technology.

“The vertical works closely with academia in promoting translational research… with focus on India-based manufacturing for the Indian demography,” the statement said.

Tata Steel had set up the NMB division four yearsago to explore opportunities in materials beyond steel.

The NMB business focuses on three market segments — industrial, infrastructure and the railways. The current product offerings in the industrial segment include pressure vessels, tanks and customised chemical-handling equipment. The infrastructure segment has products like pipes, poles, smart architecture and pultruded items. In the railways segment, there are panels, windows, and troughs on offer.

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