Collaboration for cancer detection

Detecting complex cancers could become easier with the development of a new device by a Victoria University spin-out company.

Ferranova has been established as a partnership between Victoria’s nanoparticle specialist company Boutiq Science and the University of South Australia (UniSA), after negotiations with technology incubator Powerhouse Ventures.

Ferranova will develop an ultra-sensitive magnetometer probe—around the size of a ballpoint pen—and an injectable magnetic fluid that will allow surgeons to detect the spread of cancer throughout the body.

Dr Anna Henning, head of sales and product development at Boutiq, says the combination device is designed to replace radioactive materials.

“Traditional techniques have proved less effective in some cancers where nodes are closely packed or clustered.

“This device, which combines UniSA’s magnetometer research and Boutiq’s nanoparticle tracers, will be more accurate to detect these complex cancers and is easier to operate.”