An 18-year-old boy from Mexico has wowed scientists with his recent invention: A bra which claims to be able to detect breast cancer symptoms. Student Julian Rios Cantu won the top prize at the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) for his design, which is hoped to alert women of the onset of breast cancer before it gets too far along, and therefore life-threatening.
The bra, which has been named EVA, is fitted with approximately 200 biosensors which monitor any changes in temperature, weight, and shape of the breasts—all potential indicators of breast cancer. If the bra detects a higher temperature in the breast, for example, it could suggest that this is because there's a greater blood flow to the area, possibly because of the growth of a tumor.
"As soon as there is a malformation in the breast or a tumour, there is an over-vascularisation; so the more [flow of] blood, the higher the temperature," Cantu explained in an interview with El Universal.
And the bra doesn't have to be worn 24/7 to work, either! "[It] allows us to have the breasts in the same position [so it can detect change] and it doesn’t have to be worn more than one hour a week,” the youngster said.
Cantu explained how he was drawn to the invention after his mother suffered from the cancer, and had to have both her breasts removed as a result.
The student beat 13 other young entrepeneurs at the GSEAs, and took home a prize of $20,000 following his win. It's not known whether or not this money might be invested into developing the bra more widely, but many people are hoping larger companies might take notice of the invention and invest in it—because if it could save lives, it's certainly worth it.
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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com/uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.