Buzzing Cancer Drugs into Malignancies in the Brain

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An illustration of improved delivery of anti-cancer drugs to malignancies in the brain. On the left half, focused ultrasound agitates microbubbles, which breach the blood-brain barrier, allowing drug molecules to get through. The forces also stir interstitial fluid to circulate the drug, and they also encourage the drug to cross cell membranes more easily into tumor cells. Credit: Massachusetts General Hospital / Georgia Tech / Arvanitis / Askoxylakis

The parabolic shape helps researchers focus ultrasound energies to concentrate them on an area. This is a set-up in Costas Arvanitis's Georgia Tech lab to test the device and not part of a treatment or experiment. Credit: Georgia Tech / Rob Felt

Mathematical modeling quantifies increased movement of drug molecules and of interstitial fluids that bathe cells and can circulate drug molecules that have crossed out of the bloodstream and into brain tissue spaces. Credit: Massachusetts General Hospital / Georgia Tech / Arvanitis / Askoxylakis

Costas Arvanitis is an assistant professor in Georgia Tech's George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering and in the Wallace E. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University. Credit: Georgia Tech / Rob Felt

Yutong Guo is a graduate research assistant in the lab of Costas Arvanitis. Georgia Tech / Guo / Arvanitis 

The parabolic shape helps researchers focus ultrasound energies to concentrate them on an area. This is a set-up in Costas Arvanitis's Georgia Tech lab to test the device and is not part of a treatment or experiment. Credit: Georgia Tech / Rob Felt