A new method to deliver therapeutic proteins inside the body
“Our goal is to give clinicians the power of being able to have a patient sit in a chair and, as they are infusing the drugs, use commonly available ultrasound to monitor drug levels or organ response in real-time, adjusting dosages as a function of the patient’s needs,” Dr Corrie, also from Monash University’s Department of Chemical Engineering, said.
“The technology has been tested in an animal model to detect changes in pH levels. We hope to now continue testing in animal models to determine whether it can accurately monitor rapidly changing pH levels, initially focusing on cancer and stroke.”
The ability to monitor drug levels and biological molecules inside patients in real time has remained largely elusive.
Most of the implantable monitors invented so far rely on high tech and expensive detectors such as CT scans or MRI. Using ultrasound – which is cheap and portable – as a means to track a disease state in response of a tumor to a new drug, or the risk of a heart attack with the rise of a diagnostic protein called troponin, has been hypothetical at best.
With further trials, Dr Kempe said a viable product may be developed within a decade. However, clinical and commercial partners are essential in order to make this technology a reality.
“Our field is ripe for future development that may include photoacoustic detection or the capacity to use radio frequency signals to ensure real-time monitoring of critically ill patients. This is game-changing technology that can improve people’s lives in all parts of the world,” Dr Kempe, also from the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, said.
The research team comprises Dr Simon Corrie, Dr Kristian Kempe and Julie Ann-Therese Walker (ARC Centre of Excellence in Convergent Bio-Nano Science & Technology); and Xiaowei Wang and Karlheinz Peter (Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute). Source:
Monash University Journal reference:
Walker, J.A., et al. (2020) Dynamic Solid-State Ultrasound Contrast Agent for Monitoring pH Fluctuations In Vivo. ACS Sensors . doi.org/10.1021/acssensors.0c00245 .
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