Ada Poon's research helped develop a system that could remove deadly brain tumors
Researchers can target tumors of different sizes and brain locations by adjusting the power and wavelength of light.
Professor Ada Poon, collaborating with the Stanford Medicine research team, developed a system that can generate heat precisely at the site of tumors to kill them.
The researchers developed a small, wireless implant. It is possible to remotely activate the implant to heat up nanoparticles injected into the tumor to gradually kill cancerous cells. In mice with brain tumors, 15 minutes of treatment over 15 days, while the animal continued their normal routines, increased survival times.
The wirelessly-powered device goes between the skin and the skull. Then, specially designed gold nanoparticles are injected into the tumor through a tiny hole in the skull. After that, when the device is powered on, it emits infrared light that can penetrate brain tissue to activate the nanoparticles. Upon activation, the nanoparticles increase in temperature by up to 5º Celsius, enough to kill the cancer cells over repeated treatments without damaging the surrounding brain tissue.
Researchers can target tumors of different sizes and brain locations by adjusting the power and wavelength of light. The structure and dosage of the nanoparticles are calibrated to generate just the right amount of heat, according to the researchers.
Excerpted from Medical Design & Outsourcing, "Stanford researchers think a wireless brain implant could remove tumors,” Dec 30, 2022.