Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Blowing bubbles for cancer treatment

06.06.2018

Microbubbles delivered via gas embolotherapy could provide a vehicle for cutting off blood supply and delivering drugs

Embolization -- the use of various techniques to cut off the blood vessels that feed tissue growth -- has gained traction over the past few decades to treat cancerous tumors.


Embolization -- the use of various techniques to cut off the blood vessels that feed tissue growth -- has gained traction over the past decades to treat cancerous tumors, and one specific version is gas embolotherapy. During this process, the blood supply is cut off using acoustic droplet vaporization, which uses microscopic gas bubbles induced by exposure to ultrasonic waves. Researchers have discovered that these bubbles could also be used as potential drug delivery systems. Shown here is a gas embolotherapy scenario. After the droplets were injected intravenously with or without therapeutic agents (e.g., chemotherapeutics or genes) and subsequently transported to the tumor microcirculation by blood flow, bubble formation was induced by ADV on demand.

Credit: Dui Qin/Xi'an Jiaotong University

Usage Restrictions: This image may be used only with appropriate credit.

This method of starving tumors of blood supply and nutrients is less invasive than surgery and typically involves injecting drugs (chemoembolization) or lodging nanoscopic beads directly into blood vessels.

Recently, scientists have explored another version of embolization, called gas embolotherapy. During this process, the blood supply is cut off using acoustic droplet vaporization (ADV), which uses microscopic gas bubbles induced by exposure to ultrasonic waves.

A team of researchers from China and France has discovered that these bubbles could also be used as potential drug delivery systems. The researchers reported their findings this week in Applied Physics Letters, from AIP Publishing.

"We have found that gas embolotherapy has great potential to not only starve tumors by shutting off blood flow, but also to be used as a source of targeted drug delivery," said Yi Feng, associate professor of biomedical engineering at Xi'an Jiaotong University and first co-author of the paper.

In gas embolotherapy, researchers inject droplets, from tens to hundreds of nanometers in diameter, into feeder vessels surrounding the tumor. Microscopic gas bubbles are then formed from the droplets through ultrasound, growing large enough to block the feeder vessels (e.g., arterioles). ADV is the process of transforming droplets into bubbles.

In previous work, the researchers expected to use ADV to starve the tumor by blocking blood flow in the arterioles. To their surprise, they found that the bubbles not only blocked the arterioles, but other gas bubbles made their way into the capillaries, resulting in vessel rupture and more leaky microvasculature.

In their latest work, gas embolotherapy through ADV was performed to further explore the dynamics of the bubbles inside the capillaries. Testing was conducted ex vivo on rat tissue that attaches the intestines to the abdominal wall. It involved bubble formation in droplets of dodecafluoropentane containing a bovine serum which were injected into the blood flow.

Produced in the dodecafluoropentane through ultrasound, the bubbles accumulated, sometimes merging, as they lodged themselves in the capillaries. At one point, the researchers observed a local vessel invagination (a pouchlike cavity), which they believe was caused by the interaction between the bubble and vessel and led to a capillary rupture.

Their findings could provide a one-two punch for cancer treatment -- shutting off blood flow from the arterioles and delivering drugs through the capillaries. In addition, chemotherapy drugs could be kept localized for longer periods of time because blood flow has been shut down, reducing drug dosage.

"In cancer therapy research, scientists are always interested in answering two questions: how to kill the cancer effectively and how to reduce the side effects of chemotherapeutic drugs," said Mingxi Wan, professor of biomedical engineering also at Xi'an Jiaotong University and corresponding author of the paper. "We have found that gas embolotherapy has the potential to successfully address both of these areas."

With an ultrasound imaging method in place, according to Feng, gas embolotherapy has a good chance of becoming a standard practice. Wan and Feng's team is working with another group of researchers in the same lab, and such an imaging system is being built to apply the ADV gas embolotherapy method in rats.

###

The article, "Occlusion and rupture of ex vivo capillary bifurcation due to acoustic droplet vaporization," is written by Yi Feng, Dui Qin, Jun Zhang, Lei Zhang, Ayache Bouakaz and Mingxi Wan. The article will appear in Applied Physics Letters June 5, 2018, [DOI: 10.1063/1.5025594]. After that date, it can be accessed at http://aip.scitation.org/doi/full/10.1063/1.5025594.

ABOUT THE JOURNAL

Applied Physics Letters features concise, rapid reports on significant new findings in applied physics. The journal covers new experimental and theoretical research on applications of physics phenomena related to all branches of science, engineering, and modern technology. See http://apl.aip.org.

Media Contact

Julia Majors
media@aip.org
301-209-3090

 @AIPPhysicsNews

http://www.aip.org 

Julia Majors | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.5025594

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht When wheels and heads are spinning - DFG research project on motion sickness in automated driving
22.05.2019 | Technische Universität Berlin

nachricht A new approach to targeting cancer cells
20.05.2019 | University of California - Riverside

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Self-repairing batteries

UTokyo engineers develop a way to create high-capacity long-life batteries

Engineers at the University of Tokyo continually pioneer new ways to improve battery technology. Professor Atsuo Yamada and his team recently developed a...

Im Focus: Quantum Cloud Computing with Self-Check

With a quantum coprocessor in the cloud, physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, open the door to the simulation of previously unsolvable problems in chemistry, materials research or high-energy physics. The research groups led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller report in the journal Nature how they simulated particle physics phenomena on 20 quantum bits and how the quantum simulator self-verified the result for the first time.

Many scientists are currently working on investigating how quantum advantage can be exploited on hardware already available today. Three years ago, physicists...

Im Focus: Accelerating quantum technologies with materials processing at the atomic scale

'Quantum technologies' utilise the unique phenomena of quantum superposition and entanglement to encode and process information, with potentially profound benefits to a wide range of information technologies from communications to sensing and computing.

However a major challenge in developing these technologies is that the quantum phenomena are very fragile, and only a handful of physical systems have been...

Im Focus: A step towards probabilistic computing

Working group led by physicist Professor Ulrich Nowak at the University of Konstanz, in collaboration with a team of physicists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, demonstrates how skyrmions can be used for the computer concepts of the future

When it comes to performing a calculation destined to arrive at an exact result, humans are hopelessly inferior to the computer. In other areas, humans are...

Im Focus: Recording embryonic development

Scientists develop a molecular recording tool that enables in vivo lineage tracing of embryonic cells

The beginning of new life starts with a fascinating process: A single cell gives rise to progenitor cells that eventually differentiate into the three germ...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Summit charts a course to uncover the origins of genetic diseases

22.05.2019 | Life Sciences

New study finds distinct microbes living next to corals

22.05.2019 | Life Sciences

Stellar waltz with dramatic ending

22.05.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>