Thunderous rock music improves cancer drug delivery

By / 1st of April, 2016
Banner

ROCK music is being used to maximise the efficiency of cancer drug delivery.

Vibrations caused by rock music have been found to increase a drug’s therapeutic window by creating a Teflon-like coating over the micro particles used in drug delivery.

Researchers from the University of South Australia used AC/DC’s Thunderstruck to cause porous silicon micro particles to bounce in the air, which allowed for the entire structure to be coated with a plasma polymer overlay.

Senior research author Professor Nico Voelcker said completely coating a micro particle was difficult but essential in ensuring the optimal amount of a drug was delivered to the cancer cell.

“The micro particles are porous, basically they are like a sponge. You fill them up with a drug, but of course you want to prevent the drug from escaping, and that is why we create the coating,” he said

“Normally we would ignite a plasma onto the surface. The problem with doing that is you only form the coating on one side of the particle, the side that is exposed. But the side of the particle on the surface, the other side, is not going to get coated.”

“That is where we came up with the idea of using a loud speaker that we would play into the system. We would turn that loudspeaker to a song that it would vibrate and the particles would bounce up and down. The chaotic frequencies worked well and gave you a more homogenous coating.”

Researchers filled the micro particles with a chemotherapy drug called camptothecin and found that when it was coated using the rock vibrations there was a markedly slower release of the cytotoxic drug.

This effect correlated positively with the plasma polymer coating times, ranging from two-fold up to more than 100-fold, revealing a significant time delay in cell death onset.

img - Industries_Health_Research and Development_Education_120426_Thunderous rock music improves cancer drug delivery_bannerP

 

Key contacts

Will Venn UniSA
61 8 8302 0096 will.venn@unisa.edu.au