Monday 29 September 2014

Tumor Pressure Transmitted Through Wireless Pressure Sensors

Wireless Pressure Sensors
The interstitial pressure present inside the tumor is most often higher than the normal tissues in comparison. This pressure becomes a hindrance in the release of chemotherapeutic agents apart from the decreasing the effectiveness expected from the radiation therapy.

There are medications existing to reduce the tumor pressure which allows an optimal window for diagnosis and start treatment but when the pressure is less, the medications becomes a test. Along with NIBIB support, Purdue University researchers have been able to develop sensors which can wirelessly transmit pressure readings from within a tumor.

Contents which will under pressure: 

Tumors just like other healthy living tissues needs oxygen and nutrients to stay alive. The tissues surrounding the tumors grow into the tumor to accommodate the high demands of the growing tumor. But when compared to the other healthy issues, these new tissues are highly disorganized and leaky. It has been attributed to the high pressure inside the tumor which makes these tissues highly abnormal and puts enough pressure to make the blood vessel leak fluids between the tumor cells (interstitial space).

While in a healthy normal tissue, regulated pressures pulls the nutrients and proteins out of tissues and send them to the interstitial space, which is at the end used up by cells. Medications travelling through the body also depend on these pressures, but when the pressure increases in the body just like in tumor, the medications are unable to leave the blood vessels.

Due to this reason, people suffering from tumor are often given less than the required chemotherapy dose or any other anti-cancer medicines. Radiation therapy needs oxygen to be effective but high interstitial pressure can reduce the oxygen level inside tumors.


Some of the recent clinical trials on animals have suggested that angiogenesis inhibitors (anti-cancer drugs) can actually reduce the interstitial pressure and contribute towards increasing the efficiency of the chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Angiogenesis inhibitors not only help in preventing the growth of new blood vessels but also stop the growth of tumor. According to some of the recent study, there is a window for complete normalization wherein the drugs are moving from blood to the tumors. However what comes as a challenge is the lack of methods that can be used for measuring interstitial tumor pressure, which is determine the optimal time to start the treatments.

Wireless Pressure Sensor: 

According to Babak Ziaie, director of the Biomedical Micro devices Laboratory at Purdue University, they consulted with many oncologists and determine that we need to work on creating a sensor for tumor pressure. It was a challenge as no one has though of working or was working on any concept related to this fact.

Now the team has been able to create a novel sensor which can implanted into a tumor and will be used for wirelessly transmitting interstitial fluid pressure readings. This sensor is adopted from Guyton capsule, a 1950 technology.

This device was tested by the team by implanting it in pancreatic tumors in mice and they were able to reduce the interstitial tumor pressure after which the angiogenic inhibitor was administered to the mice.
According to Tiffani Lash, program director for sensor technologies at NIBIB, it’s all about create and generating a novel technology to treat the disease.

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