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The research interests of our lab include image-guided therapies, image-guided drug delivery, biomedical instrumentation, measurement of thermal and dielectric tissue properties, and computational modeling of biological heat transfer and drug delivery problems.
Specifically, we have been working on:
1) Image-guided drug delivery by thermosensitive liposomes (TSL):
TSL are nanoparticle drug delivery systems that release the encapsulated drug when exposed to hyperthermia (>40 ºC). After systemic administration of TSL (e.g. infusion), hyperthermia is locally applied to the targeted tissue region resulting in localized drug delivery. We have been working on: (1) use of in vivo fluorescence imaging for real-time monitoring of drug delivery; (2) in vitro devices for characterization of TSL release kinetics; (3) Computational models of TSL drug delivery to identify relevant parameters of TSL, tumor, and hyperthermia with the goal of optimizing delivery.
2) Tumor ablation (radiofrequency ablation; microwave ablation; focused ultrasound)
Tumor ablation employs heat or cold to locally destroy cancerous tissue, and is used clinically for treatment of liver, lung, and other cancers. Various methods of tissue heating such as radiofrequency heating or microwaves have been employed. We have been developing novel and improved ablation devices by combining computer simulation, ex vivo tissue studies, and in vivo studies in large animals.
3) Cardiac catheter ablation (radiofrequency ablation; cryo ablation):
Ablation is used as therapy for cardiac arrhythmia, where a small tissue region in the heart responsible for arrhythmia is destroyed by heat or cold. We have been investigating the biophysics of cardiac catheter ablation via computer simulations, ex vivo tissue models, and in vivo studies, with the goal of developing more effective devices as well as characterizing tissue effects of heat and cold.