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NANOPORATION sets out to explore specific solutions to overcome the current challenges of drug delivery to cancer cells using MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) guided focused ultrasound to cavitate micro bubbles for increased cell permeability and to open “drug nano-capsules” releasing proven active cancer drugs directly to the tumour cell population with reduction of drug dosage needed for the desired therapeutic effect.

Nanoporation – A success story. Click here to see article produced and published by the EU

Some comments from researchers regarding their experience in Nanoporation:

“In one sentence – the project changed my life.”

“The project introduced me into the fascinating world of MRgFUS, and allowed me to be part of the company that makes the difference in this field.”

“Great idea that allowed me to be exposed to research fields within the academic environment.”

“Allowed me to integrate in team of cultural diversities.  And made me realize that I need to conduct my own academic research.”

“The lesson I took from Nanoporation is that it is better to be on the Academia side….     :-) I enjoyed getting to know so many fine people and scientists and hope to keep in touch.”

Nanoporation has been used as a ‘good example’ by the EC see No. 23

A high speed movie of an optically trapped Optison(TM) microbubbleA high speed movie of an optically trapped Optison(TM) microbubble

(Click on image to play video)

Initially 4 microns in diameter, being exposed to 1MHz ultrasound of 1.4MPa peak negative pressure amplitude. This sequence demonstrates jet-formation toward a cell adherent on the substrate (to the right) and secondary re-inflation dynamics, with many implications for potential drug delivery applications with focused ultrasound. The movie was recorded at 1.2Mfps with a Cordin 550-62 camera, courtesy of the EPSRC loan pool.

A more detailed account of this work can be found at: Membrane disruption by optically controlled cavitation Nature-Physics 1 107-110 (2005)

Paul Prentice, Donald McLean, Alfred Cuschieri, Kishan Dholakia, Mark Prausnitz & Paul Campbell

Title: Laser-nucleated acoustic cavitation in focussed ultrasound (Click on link to see video)

Authors: Bjoern Gerold, Spiros Kotopoulis, Craig MacDougal, David McGloin, Michiel Postema, Paul Prentice.

Abstract: Acoustic cavitation can occur in therapeutic applications of high-amplitude focussed ultrasound. Studying acoustic cavitation has been challenging, because the onset of nucleation is unpredictable. We hypothesised that acoustic cavitation can be forced to occur on a specific location, using a laser to nucleate a microcavity in a pre-established ultrasound field. In this paper we describe a scientific instrument that is dedicated to this outcome, combining a focussed ultrasound transducer with a pulsed laser. We present high-speed photographic observations of laser-induced cavitation and laser-nucleated acoustic cavitation, at frame rates of 0.5 million frames per second, from laser pulses of energy above and below the optical breakdown threshold, respectively. Acoustic recordings demonstrated inertial cavitation can be controllably introduced to the ultrasound focus. This technique will contribute to the understanding of cavitation evolution in focussed ultrasound, including for potential therapeutic applications.

Summer School 2012
The Nanoporation project hosted it’s second summer school on Targeted Drug Delivery in September 2012. The Summer School was hosted by the University of Dundee and included a comprehensive programme of internationally renowned speakers in the field. The summer school was well attended and very well received by all.