Tuesday, April 8, 2008

"wireless implantable passive micro-dosimeter"

Engineering + medicine = advances in healthcare technology.

Engineers at Purdue have created what they are calling a "wireless implantable passive micro-dosimeter." This tiny device is to be injected into tumors to indicate the precise dose of radiation.

One of the great challenges of radiation therapy (radiotherapy or XRT) is delivering just the right dose so that you treat the tumor without injuring the surrounding healthy tissue. Researchers have been looking for ways to effectively measure the actual dosage delivered, and now they may have something.

This reminds me a bit about my research at the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology where I explored the utility of thermistor-based probes to measure temperature during hyperthermia treatment prior to radiotherapy. This was based on an underlying idea that increasing perfusion to a tumor can enhance the efficacy of XRT (free radicals, oxidative injury, etc.) I was able to create some prototype probes by modifying biopsy needles and attaching thermistor-based temperature sensors.

Medical technology is advancing so rapidly. The collaborative efforts between innovative engineers and physicians will ultimately lead to some remarkable breakthroughs. I'm still waiting for the nano-robot that will fly through the bloodstream and destroy microorganisms, repair DNA, and remove malignant cells.

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