WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Engineers at Purdue University are creating a wireless device designed to be injected into tumors to tell doctors the precise dose of radiation received and locate the exact position of tumors during treatment.
The information would help to more effectively kill tumors, said Babak Ziaie, an associate professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and a researcher at Purdue's Birck Nanotechnology Center.
Ziaie is leading a team that has tested a prototype "wireless implantable passive micro-dosimeter" and said the device could be in clinical trials in 2010.
"Because organs and tumors shift inside the body during treatment, a new technology is needed to tell doctors the exact dosage of radiation received by a tumor," Ziaie said.
The prototype is enclosed in a glass capillary small enough to inject into a tumor with a syringe, said Ziaie, who has a dual appointment in Purdue's Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering.
Research findings are detailed in a paper appearing in the June issue of IEEE Transactions On Biomedical Engineering. The paper was written by doctoral student Chulwoo Son and Ziaie.
Whereas conventional imaging systems can provide a three-dimensional fix on a tumor's shifting position during therapy, these methods are difficult to use during radiation therapy, are costly and sometimes require X-rays, which can damage tissue when used repeatedly, Ziaie said.
The new device uses radio frequency identification, or RFID, technology, which does not emit damaging X-rays.
The device, which has no batteries and will be activated with electrical coils placed next to the patient, contains a miniature version of dosimeters worn by workers in occupations involving radioactivity. The tiny dosimeter could provide up-to-date information about the cumulative dose a tumor is receiving over time.
"It's a radiation dosimeter and a tracking device
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