For certain types of cancer, such as hepatocellular carcinoma, transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) is a standard treatment.
This involves the infusion of chemotherapeutic and embolic agents to the tumour site. It is rather difficult to localize and maintain therapeutic levels of delivery and the use of biostable drug-eluting beads has recently been developed and implemented.
To monitor the delivery, imaging contrast agents are frequently delivered separately to the site.
We are designing and developing the next generation of multifunctional microbead delivery system that incorporates the following functions:
A flow focusing microfluidic approach is used to synthesize the multifunctional microbeads.
Degradable microbeads contraining iron oxide nanoparticles that are detectable with CT and MRI have been fabricated.
Ongoing work aims at integrating additional desirable functions to the microbeads for therapeutic applications.