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Effect of Focused Ultrasound on drug delivery to brain tumours

Project Description

This project is a collaboration between the Institute of Pharmaceutical Science at King’s College London and Pharmidex and aims to develop a novel technology for brain tumor treatment.

Successful drug delivery to brain tumors is inhibited by the lack of methods of overcoming the Blood to Brain Tumor Barrier. High Intensity Focused Ultrasound has gained significant attention during the last 15 years as a means to alter tissue characteristics, and effect the delivery of therapeutic molecules. Also known as, Focused ultrasound (FUS) named as “the-surgery-without-a-knife” is producing very promising results in clinical trials for the treatment of a range of CNS conditions. In animal models FUS has shown to dramatically increase the permeability of macromolecules and nanoparticles in specific brain areas. FUS shows very strong efficacy of Blood Brain Barrier permeation without the need of chemical permeation enhancers. FUS is non-invasive, safe and reversible method to enhance the barrier’s permeability. In FUS treatments multiple beams of ultrasound energy are focused on a target in the brain. In the clinic, it is coupled with MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) so beams are focused in the targeted tissue in real time

This project aims to prepare novel tools to enhance the effect of FUS on the delivery of therapeutics In brain tumors. In this project, the student will prepare nanodroplets labelled with fluorescent probes that will go to phase change under the effect of FUS. These will be tested in vitro and in vivo. The in vivo FUS setup will be applied in mice. To assess molecule transport live in mice brains the student will use NIRF labelled nanoparticles and bio-imaging for detection. In addition to this Evans Blue dye will be used as control. Post experiment, mice’ brains will be prepared for histology and microscopy. In collaboration with Pharmidex, the student will investigate the transport of therapeutic nanoparticles and will analyse brain distribution (tissues from the previous experiments) of the content drug using Pharmidex’ analytical techniques and expertise. In this project we will be developing these methods using temozolamide as candidate drug.

Funding Notes

Stipend: £16,777 per annum
A 4 year full-time PhD studentship.
Sponsor: KCL-LiDO industrial case
Start date: 01/10/2019

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