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Shuning (Steve) Bian

Linacre College

Current Research

3D Realtime Imaging for Ultrasound Enhanced Drug Delivery

 Successful treatment of tumours is often difficult because chemotherapy drugs cannot penetrate into the core of tumours. This is especially so for new and powerful drugs such as antibodies which are much larger in size than many older drugs. As a result, a reserve of cancer cells remains untreated and can regrow the tumour after treatment. One promising technique to improve drug penetration is to mix very small bubbles (called microbubbles) with drugs, and then burst the bubbles with a blast of ultrasound. This has been shown to create shockwaves which can push drugs into and throughout tumours. While the benefits of this approach are clear, the processes taking place within tumours exposed to microbubbles, ultrasound and drugs need to be better understood before this method can be used in patients.
The goal of this project is to develop an instrument which will enable the study of ultrasound enhanced drug delivery in near real-time and in 3 dimensions (3D). This will enable direct visualisation of the enhancement process, and provide a better understanding of the mechanisms responsible for enhanced drug penetration, understanding that is crucial for patient safety, drug efficacy, and regulatory approval.