Whole organ ultrasound for targeted drug delivery
Conventional chemotherapeutic approaches to cancer treatment have seen unacceptable levels of side effects for cancer patients. To reduce these side effects, treatments must have increased selectivity for tumour targeting and mechanism of action against the cells. Nanotechnology has shown great promise in the area of tumour selectivity and uptake. To further enhance drug delivery, this project focuses on the combination of drug delivery via a nano-vehicle, and drug release using diagnostic levels of ultrasound. The enhancement that nanoparticles can bring both in their tumour localisation and ultrasound effect enhancement (inertial cavitation), will be utilised to initiate targeted drug release and local tissue damage. With the nanoparticles targeted to tumours, an ultrasound field is applied to the whole organ (for example the liver) to initiate targeted drug release. This treatment would then be able to be applied to existing drugs, using existing diagnostic ultrasound equipment to reduce the side effects, and increase the efficacy of today’s chemotherapeutics.
Susan is currently working in the The Biomedical Ultrasonics, Biotherapy & Biopharmaceuticals Laboratory (BUBBL) under the supervision of Prof Constantin Coussios and Dr Robert Carlisle.