Ultrasound-driven “on-demand” pulsatile delivery of chemotherapeutics or chemotherapeutic delivery vehicles to tumours

In many drug delivery methods, chemotherapeutic drugs have a hard time solely attacking cancer cells in a tumour and instead also attack healthy cells in the body, leading to severe side effects. Pharmasonica has developed ultrasound-responsive microcapsules that can be injected in the stationary tumour. These microcapsules have small silica nanoparticles on their outer shell that eject out upon ultrasound activation (similar to popping a cork on a wine bottle) to enable “on demand” drug release; the more nanoparticles ejected out, the more drug is released. This enables clinicians to personalize and optimize a chemotherapeutic treatment for an individual patient. This project aims to confirm the mechanism of drug release (ideally pulse-like over multiple ultrasound activation cycles), assess what types of therapeutics can be delivered by the microcapsules, and gain proof-of-concept data around the biocompatibility, safety, and efficacy of the microcapsules for cancer therapy within an animal model. From this interaction, the partner will receive validation data on their prototype essential to bring it closer to the healthcare market as well as an improved understanding of the key market(s) to target.

Faculty Supervisor:

Heather Sheardown


Andrew Singh;Jonathan Que


Pharmasonica Technologies Inc.


Engineering - chemical / biological


Professional, scientific and technical services


McMaster University


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