World first -- Localized delivery of an anti-cancer drug by remote-controlled microcarriers

Mar 16, 2011

Known for being the world's first researcher to have guided a magnetic sphere through a living artery, Professor Martel is announcing a spectacular new breakthrough in the field of nanomedicine. Using a magnetic resonance imaging system, his team successfully guided microcarriers loaded with a dose of anti-cancer drug through the bloodstream of a living rabbit, right up to a targeted area in the liver, where the drug was successfully administered.

Soon, drug delivery that precisely targets without exposing the healthy surrounding tissue to the medication's toxic effects will no longer be an oncologist's dream but a medical reality, thanks to the work of Professor Sylvain Martel, Director of the Nanorobotics Laboratory at Polytechnique Montreal.

Known for being the world's first researcher to have guided a magnetic sphere through a living artery, Professor Martel is announcing a spectacular new breakthrough in the field of . Using a (MRI) system, his team successfully guided microcarriers loaded with a dose of anti-cancer drug through the bloodstream of a living rabbit, right up to a targeted area in the liver, where the drug was successfully administered. This is a medical first that will help improve chemoembolization, a current treatment for liver cancer.

Microcarriers on a mission

The therapeutic magnetic microcarriers (TMMCs) were developed by Pierre Pouponneau, a PhD candidate under the joint direction of Professors Jean-Christophe Leroux and Martel. These tiny agents, made from and measuring 50 micrometers in diameter — just under the breadth of a hair — encapsulate a dose of a therapeutic agent (in this case, doxorubicin) as well as magnetic nanoparticles. Essentially tiny magnets, the nanoparticles are what allow the upgraded MRI system to guide the microcarriers through the blood vessels to the targeted organ. During the experiments, the TMMCs injected into the bloodstream were guided through the hepatic artery to the targeted part of the liver where the drug was progressively released. The results of these in-vivo experiments have recently been published in the prestigious journal Biomaterials and the patent describing this technology has just been issued in the United States.

Explore further: Experts cautious over Google nanoparticle project

More information: Pouponneau, P., Leroux, J.-C., Soulez, G., Gaboury, L. and Martel, S. (2011). Co-encapsulation of magnetic nanoparticles and doxorubicin into biodegradable microcarriers for deep tissue targeting by vascular MRI navigation. Biomaterials. Volume 32, Issue 13, May 2011, Pages 3481-3486. DOI:10.1016/j.biomaterials.2010.12.059

Provided by Polytechnique Montreal

5 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Fantastic voyage: From science fiction to reality

Mar 19, 2007

Some 40 years after the release of the classic science fiction movie Fantastic Voyage, researchers in the NanoRobotics Laboratory of École Polytechnique de Montréal’s Department of Computer Engineering and Institute of ...

New Nanoparticle Structure Boosts Magnetic Properties

Dec 19, 2005

Magnetic nanoparticles have shown promise as contrast-enhancing agents for improving cancer detection using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), as miniaturized heaters capable of killing malignant cells, and as targeted drug ...

Magnetic Nanocrystals Carry Tumor-Killing Drugs

Mar 07, 2007

Imagine using a focused magnetic field to concentrate anticancer drugs in and around tumors, and then turning off the magnetic field so that the drugs then leave the body. That possiblity may become a reality as a result ...

Recommended for you

Nanosafety research: The quest for the gold standard

Oct 29, 2014

Empa toxicologist Harald Krug has lambasted his colleagues in the journal Angewandte Chemie. He evaluated several thousand studies on the risks associated with nanoparticles and discovered no end of shortc ...

New nanodevice to improve cancer treatment monitoring

Oct 27, 2014

In less than a minute, a miniature device developed at the University of Montreal can measure a patient's blood for methotrexate, a commonly used but potentially toxic cancer drug. Just as accurate and ten ...

Molecular beacons shine light on how cells 'crawl'

Oct 24, 2014

Adherent cells, the kind that form the architecture of all multi-cellular organisms, are mechanically engineered with precise forces that allow them to move around and stick to things. Proteins called integrin ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.