‘There is great demand for safe ways to deliver molecules to the brain to treat diseases’ – Miriam Stoppard

Dr Miriam Stoppard said groundbreaking research from a team at Kings College London could open the door to better cancer treatments.

Exciting breakthroughs in the brain

There’s no better way to describe the brain research going on at King’s College and Imperial College London than “epic”.

To get the gist, here’s a little anatomy.

The brain protected by the blood-brain barrier.

While the skull protects against physical damage, this blood barrier protects against circulating toxins that can cause brain infections.

It also limits the penetration of more than 90% of drugs.

There is a great deal of demand for ways to safely deliver large molecules into the brain to treat brain diseases – but currently, there is no non-invasive way that can avoid damaging the barrier while trying to control it. treat.

In search of a solution to this conundrum, the School of Biomedical Engineering and Imaging Sciences at King’s College and the Laboratory of Noninvasive Biopsy and Surgery at Imperial College London put their heads together.

Using short pulsed ultrasound (RaSP), they devised a non-invasive way to deliver useful liposomes into the brain, across the blood-brain barrier, leaving it intact.

Liposomes are fat balls that can be filled with drugs and are important for many treatments for cancer, inflammation, and infection, delivering high concentrations of drugs where they’re needed.

The Pfizer / BioNTech’s Covid vaccine uses liposomes.

They can also deliver high drug concentrations that are released at specific inflammatory targets.

Importantly, they can carry drugs across the blood-brain barrier and treat neurodegenerative diseases and brain tumors.

Previous studies have used standard ultrasound to deliver liposomes to the brain with high-frequency sound waves focused on a specific area.

But this is considered invasive and damages the brain’s blood supply.

However, the application of fast and short ultrasound pulses is thought to be safer, and liposomes can even reach inside certain cells in the brain.

In this study, the researchers used mice where the ultrasound waves were focused on the left side of the brain.

The microparticles – gas-filled bubbles that expand and contract in sync with ultrasound waves – are then injected into the bloodstream, as are the liposomes.

By causing the microparticles to vibrate, the ultrasound waves opened the brain’s barrier, forming an entry point for those helpful liposomes.

Mr. Aishwarya Mishra, of King’s College London.

Amazing. 'There is great demand for safe ways to deliver molecules to the brain to treat diseases' - Miriam Stoppard

Fry Electronics Team

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