A tiny oxygen generating device could help kill cancer tissues faster by increasing the influence of radiation and chemotherapy, says a new research.
The device, if implanted in tumours, could shrink them much faster, Purdue University researchers say.
Solid tumours are hypoxic at the core, meaning that they have low oxygen levels, which renders the fight against cancer even more difficult.
“Radiation therapy needs oxygen to be effective,” said Babak Ziaie, professor of electrical, computer and biomedical engineering, the journal Transactions on Biomedical Engineering reports.
“So the hypoxic areas are hard to kill. Pancreatic and cervical cancers are notoriously hypoxic. If you generate oxygen, you can increase the effectiveness of radiation therapy and also chemotherapy,” said Ziaie, who led the study.
The new “implantable micro oxygen generator” receives ultrasound signals…to generate a small voltage to separate oxygen and hydrogen from water, according to a University statement.
“We are putting these devices inside tumours and then exposing the tumours to ultrasound,” Ziaie said.
The ultrasound energy powers the device.
Researchers have tested the device in pancreatic tumours by implanting it in mice.
The device generated oxygen and shrank tumours faster.
They are slightly less than one cm long.
They were created at the Birck Nanotechnology Center at the University’s Discovery Park.