If you are anything like me, chances are, sound waves, in general, are not a random thought. With that being said, it seems some of us should be thinking about them more often.
Researchers at the University of Alberta in Canada have managed to develop a new technique that uses focused sound waves to activate particles known as nanodroplets. These findings were published in the journal Cancer Research and prove to be quite promising. If you are not aware of what HIFU is, it is a type of high intensity focused ultrasound that aims to kill cancer cells with high-frequency waves. This, however, is not suitable for everyone.
According to some of the members of this team, this method is as accurate as using needles in a biopsy. The ultrasound gives them information about the tumor that they need. According to Lewis, they should be able to progress this into clinical trials soon enough. This is very promising and I cannot wait to see how it unfolds.
“With a little bit of ultrasound energy, nanodroplets phase-change into micro bubbles. That’s important because ultrasound can really oscillate these microbubbles,” says Roger Zemp, professor of engineering at the U of A. “The micro bubbles absorb the ultrasound energy and then act like boxing gloves to punch the tumor cells and knock little vesicles off.”
“That led us to detect some genes that were indicative of the aggressiveness of a tumor. That’s potentially very powerful. You can get a genetic characterization of a tumor, but do it relatively non-invasively.”
“Separately, the ultrasound and nanodroplets had very little effect,”
“But when we added the two together they had a very big effect. It allows us to detect roughly 100 times more vessels than would normally be there, that are specific from a tumor.”
How do you feel about HIFU and would you try it yourself? While it may sound too good to be true, it isn’t. For more information on this check out the video below.