Nanyang Technological University

Beating Cancer with Bubble Technology

​Beating Cancer with Bubble Technology

Bubble technology may well be the next cancer treatment breakthrough for patients.

The first of its kind, it targets only tumours and zaps it at the core. Drug particles can be delivered directly to a specific tumour in milliseconds, without damaging healthy cells. Microsized gas bubbles coated with iron oxide nanoparticles and cancer drug particles are pulled towards the tumour with magnets. Ultrasound is then used to vibrate these micro bubbles, generating energy to deliver the drug particle into the targeted area.

Bubble technology is more effective than modern chemotherapy, which damages both cancerous and healthy cells. Its effectiveness is also limited as the chemotherapy drugs are usually flushed away by organs immediately.

This new cancer treatment technology was developed by a multidisciplinary team of scientists at NTU, with Associate Professor Claus ­Dieter Ohl of the School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences and Assistant Professor Xu Chenjie of the School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering spearheading the development of bubble technology.

Benefits:
  • Ensures healthy cells are bypassed
  • Bubbles can penetrate into a depth of 50 cell layers or more
  • Reaches targeted cancer cells including the tumour’s core
  • Overcomes limitations of chemotherapy

“Our invention is the first of its kind that allows drug particles to be directed deep into a tumor in a few milliseconds. They can penetrate a depth of 50 cell layers or more - which is about 200 micrometres, twice the width of a human hair. This helps to ensure that the drugs can reach the cancer cells on the surface and also inside the core of the tumour."

Assistant Professor Xu Chenjie,
of the School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering

Moving Forward:

The team will be adopting this new drug delivery system in studies on lung and liver cancer using animal models, and eventually clinical studies. Be part of the quest to give cancer patients more effective treatment, lessening their suffering and improving their survival and recovery.​

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