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Enhanced Drug Delivery

We have developed technologies to ensure liposomal and virus-based therapeutics can achieve good circulation following injection into the bloodstream, decreasing uptake into non-target tissue and allowing a level of accumulation in tumour deposits. However, at present, release of the tumor-cell-killing cargo and penetration of that cargo deep into the tumour is still sub-optimal.

In response, we have developed systems which utilise focused ultrasound as a stimulus to trigger release of therapeutic payload and propel it deep into tumours. The ultrasound induced phenomena that drive this release and movement are the shock waves microstreaming created by inertial cavitation, an event resulting from the rapid expansionand violent collapse of a gas bubble in response to the rarefactional and compressional pressures exerted by an ultrasound wave.

Inertial cavitation can be detected and mapped in real-time and in 3D using a technique developed in Oxford, known as Passive Acoustic Mapping (PAM). The location of the stimulus driving drug delivery can thus be correlated to the location of the delivery. See also drug delivery monitoring.

adenovirus in green remains close to blood vessels in red   adenovirus is detected hundreds of microns from the blood vessels

Ultrasound mediated penetration of adenovirus vector deep into tumours. In the absence of inertial cavitation (left image) adenovirus in green remains close to blood vessels in red. In the presence of inertial cavitation (right image) adenovirus is detected hundreds of microns from the blood vessels.

For further details please see our publications pages.