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Potential for non-invasive brain tumor treatment
Date:6/16/2009

and chemotherapy that is injected or taken orally affects the whole body and has difficulty crossing the blood-brain barrier in sufficient concentrations," Herickhoff said. The blood-brain barrier restricts the passage into the brain of any foreign matter not needed by the neural tissue.

In a series of experiments in animal models and simulated tissues, the researchers demonstrated that they could build a catheter thin enough to be placed in one of the brain's main blood vessels that was capable of serving the dual purpose of visualization and heating.

"Taken as a whole, the results of these experiments, in particular the clarity of the images and ability to increase temperature with the same catheter, lead us to believe that the ultimate creation of a practical intracranial ultrasound catheter is possible," said Stephen Smith, director of the Duke University Ultrasound Transducer Group and senior member of the research team. "There are some design issues of the catheter itself that we feel can be overcome with little difficulty."

Advances in ultrasound technology have made these latest experiments possible, the researchers said, by generating detailed, 3-D moving images in real-time. The Duke laboratory has a long track record of modifying traditional 2-D ultrasound like that used to image babies in utero into the more advanced 3-D scans. After inventing the technique in 1991, the team also has shown its utility in developing specialized catheters and endoscopes for real-time imaging of tissues throughout the body.

Much of the liposome research was carried out at Duke by David Needham, professor of mechanical engineering and materials science, and Mark Dewhirst, professor of radiation oncology.


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Contact: Richard Merritt
richard.merritt@duke.edu
919-660-8414
Duke University
Source:Eurekalert

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