Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Biomedical foundation supports technology aimed at destroying cancer cells

18.08.2008
A new technology, using electric pulses to destroy cancer tissue and named by NASA Tech Briefs as one of seven key technological breakthroughs of 2007, is receiving additional support aimed at moving the procedure to the marketplace.
One of its lead developers, Rafael V. Davalos, a faculty member of the Virginia Tech-Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences (SBES), received a $240,000 grant from the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation and $25,000 from the Wake Forest Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Davalos' grant from Coulter is an Early Career Translational Research Award in Biomedical Engineering. This early career awards program provides funding for assistant professors in established biomedical engineering departments within North America. The award seeks to support biomedical research that Coulter considers promising ­­-- with the goal of progressing toward commercial development.

The technology, irreversible electroporation (IRE), was invented by Davalos and Boris Rubinsky, a bioengineering professor at the University of California, Berkeley.

Electroporation is a phenomenon that increases the permeability of a cell from none to a reversible opening to an irreversible opening. With the latter, the cell will die. For decades, biologists have used reversible electroporation in laboratories to introduce drugs and genes into cells while trying to avoid irreversible electroporation. By contrast, biomedical engineers Davalos and Rubinsky are now using irreversible electroporation to target cancer cells in the body.

Irreversible electroporation would be a minimally invasive surgical focal-ablation technique that could remove the undesirable tissue without the use of heat such as radiation. The irreversible electroporation procedure involves placing small needles near the targeted region. The needles deliver a series of low energy microsecond electric pulses to the targeted tissue and the area treated can be monitored in real time using ultrasound. In laboratory testing, irreversible electroporation destroyed targeted tissue with sub-millimeter resolution, and it proved easy to control and to be precise.

Furthermore, "the procedure spares nerves and major blood vessels, enabling treatment in otherwise inoperable areas," Davalos, the 2006 recipient of the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Award for Most Promising Engineer, added.

Davalos and his colleagues published the first experiments on using irreversible electroporation on tumors in the November 2007 issue of PLoS ONE. Their optimal parameters achieved complete regression in 92 percent of the treated tumors in vivo in preclinical mouse models. These results were achieved with a single treatment that lasted less than five minutes. Collaborator Lluis M. Mir, director of the Laboratory of Vectorology and Gene Transfer research of the Institut Gustave Rousssy, the leading cancer research center in Europe, and one of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), led the study.

In April 2008, Gary Onik (http://www.hopeforprostatecancer.com/gon-onik.asp), a radiologist with Florida Hospital and Rubinsky conducted a pilot study (http://www.hopeforprostatecancer.com/) on five people on soft tissue in the prostate to prove the safety of the procedure on humans.

Davalos' collaborators on the Coulter Foundation grant are: Mir; John Robertson, professor of biomedical science; and John Rossmeisl, an assistant professor of small animal clinical services, both of whom are in the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine and Waldemar Debinski of Wake Forest.

Davalos' Virginia Tech collaborators on the grant from Wake Forest are Robertson and Nichole Rylander, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and also a member of the Virginia Tech-Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences. Wake Forest researcher Suzy Torti, of its cancer biology department, is also working with the group.

Lynn A. Nystrom | VT News
Further information:
http://www.sbes.vt.edu
http://www.vetmed.vt.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation
22.06.2017 | Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

nachricht CWRU researchers find a chemical solution to shrink digital data storage
22.06.2017 | Case Western Reserve University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

Im Focus: Optoelectronic Inline Measurement – Accurate to the Nanometer

Germany counts high-precision manufacturing processes among its advantages as a location. It’s not just the aerospace and automotive industries that require almost waste-free, high-precision manufacturing to provide an efficient way of testing the shape and orientation tolerances of products. Since current inline measurement technology not yet provides the required accuracy, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is collaborating with four renowned industry partners in the INSPIRE project to develop inline sensors with a new accuracy class. Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the project is scheduled to run until the end of 2019.

New Manufacturing Technologies for New Products

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation

22.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Plant inspiration could lead to flexible electronics

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

A rhodium-based catalyst for making organosilicon using less precious metal

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>