Montana man develops cancer testing device

Montana Health Journal

Bozeman alum wins business competition with new device

By Marshall Swearingen

BOZEMAN - Montana State University alumnus Joseph Azzarelli has won a prestigious business plan competition with a noninvasive, low-cost lung cancer screening technology.
The CARD is a postage stamp-sized sensor capable of detecting gases that indicate the presence of lung cancer. Similar to a breathalyzer, the lung cancer-specific Chemically Actuated Resonant Device measures the quantity of those gases when a patient blows on it.

Azzarelli took a leading role in developing a low-cost interface that allows the detection results to be easily read by a smart phone or other mobile device. Azzarelli earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from MSU in 2010. Azzarelli and the team won by describing how single-use CARD devices could be manufactured for less than $1 each and produce results 10 times more accurate than CT scanning, an expensive process used for cancer screening. "Thinking about how to commercialize technologies in a way that is meaningful, has proven extremely fulfilling for me,” he said. “I am thankful for the many mentors and friends who have helped.” •

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