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A Bioadhesive Device Bringing Breakthrough In Cancer

Technology and advancements in science have made living a longer and healthier life easy. Conditions and diseases that were once fatal can be either prevented or cured thanks to breakthroughs made by researchers and scientists.
A discovery by scientists from three eminent colleges:
Waseda University, the National Defense Medical College, and the Japan Science and Technology Agency bring a significant change in how can be treated. The development is a new bio-adhesive device that emits light and can be used to treat cancerous cells that are present in or near delicate organs.

Before we dive into how the wirelessly powered tool works, a look into conventional therapy is needed. The present photodynamic therapy that is used to kill cancer cells requires photosensitizing agents. These agents localize in tumors and then are activated by exposing them to a particular light wavelength. In the recent past, the most promising treatment has been mPDT, i.e., metronomic photodynamic therapy. It is a low dose cure that is given over an extended period. While mPDT has shown results, it has a primary drawback.
mPDT only uses light in minute intensities. The concentration is 1/1000 of the traditional method. This low level of focus means that if the source of light shifts even slightly away from the cancer cells, the antitumor effect doesn’t take place. The reason is that the illumination is not enough to treat the cancer cells. This is where the new bio-adhesive device invented steps in. The optoelectronic gadget has a unique quality. It sticks to the inside surface of the animal tissue. Think of the invention as a sticker with elastic nanosheets and high stability. Once the tool attaches to a tumor it enables “continuous, local light delivery.”

To simplify, the problem of insufficient illumination to treat cancer cells is removed. The nanosheets present in the bio-device have a small modification. They have polydopamine which is a “mussel adhesive protein-inspired polymer.” It is this polymer that stabilizes the invention on any wet animal tissue. It can stay attached to a cell for over fourteen days without external help. There is no requirement of a surgical procedure or medical glue. The device also has diode chips that emit light. They are powered wirelessly using a technology termed as near field communication.

Tests have proven that the gadget can be used to support treatment of micro tumors that are not easy to detect. It is also proven helpful in curing lesions that are so deep within the tissue that conventional phototherapy cannot reach. Experiments done on mice using red and green light have given successful results with the later leading to complete eradication. There is much hope that the clinical device will be highly beneficial for cancer patients. It is especially essential for patients who want a minimally invasive treatment. There is no worry about risking healthy tissues and damaging it by overheating. Additionally, the invention can be put to use near blood vessels and essential nerves as it does not require surgical suturing.

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