The impact of technology in revolutionising healthcare has been high on the agenda at this year’s BEYOND Expo 2023 conference, with scores of medical experts, investors and technology professionals looking at smart solutions to global health challenges.
Among the many exhibitors showcasing innovative medical tech is Dr. Zhe Lin. Over the last three years, he has been working with a dozen researchers to develop an AI-powered biochip, which he calls “Cell 4D”. It aims to distinguish cancer and other tumour cells from normal cells.
Lin told Macao News that he developed this idea when he studied biomedical engineering at ETH Zurich, one of the world’s top universities for science (and the alma mater of Albert Einstein, no less). He gathered scientists from different research areas, such as cell therapy and oncology, in a bid to revolutionise the way cancer is diagnosed.
Cell 4D aims to be a “novel tumour biomarker” that will enhance accuracy and reduce the time for screening cells. Lin claims it can swiftly identify intrinsic drug resistant cancer cells within minutes, whereas conventional methods may take months.
The medical entrepreneur made an analogy between the AI-powered biochips and human beings. “They also have legs and arms. They use all these structures to sense the surrounding environment,” Lin told Macao News.
He went on to explain that by improving cell screening technology, people can “revolutionise a lot of therapies” and “transform the way that people treat and diagnose” conditions, making diseases more curable.
The scientist hopes the invention can also reduce the reliance on animal testing as the use of animals in laboratories has raised ethical concerns.
“We can use one single cell to replace one animal, so one cell can save one animal’s life,” he said.
While the Cell 4D biochip technology is currently not commercialised or widely available, the company is collaborating with doctors in Switzerland, China, and other countries.
The team is satisfied with the initial result of its research and the next step will be working with doctors to make Cell 4D more accessible to the general public.
“We are collaborating with researchers and hospitals in Switzerland, the UK, China, Taiwan, and also mainland China,” Lin says. “Doctors are very impressed by this new technology.”
BEYOND Expo 2023 is being held until 12 May at the Venetian Macao Convention and Exhibition Centre.
—With reporting by Vanesse Chan.
Macao News is an official Macao media partner of BEYOND Expo 2023.