Still in the experimental stage, the pill is packed with tiny magnetic particles, which can travel through a patient’s bloodstream, search for malignant cells and report their findings to a sensor on a wearable device, says Google in an announcement.
As many as 2,000 of these microscopic “nanoparticles” could fit inside a single red blood cell to provide doctors with better insights about what is happening inside their patients.
It could be a decade before Google’s nanoparticle research pays off, according to the company.
At this point, Google believes the cancer-detecting nanoparticles can be coated with antibodies that bind with specific proteins or cells associated with various maladies. The particles would remain in the blood and report back continuously on what they find over time, said Andrew Conrad, head of life sciences at Google X, while a wearable sensor could track the particles by following their magnetic fields and collecting data on their movement through the body.