The BBB is a network of tight junctions that normally acts to protect the brain from foreign substances by preventing them from leaking out of blood vessels. However, it also limits the effectiveness of drugs to treat brain disease. Temporarily opening the BBB is a way to ensure that drugs can still be effective.
For the treatment of brain cancer, “VEIN pulses could be applied at the same time as biopsy or through the same track as the biopsy probe in order to mitigate damage to the healthy tissue by limiting the number of needle insertions,” says Rafael V. Davalos, Ph.D, director of the Bioelectromechanical Systems Laboratory at Virginia Tech.
Additionally, the group shows that VEIN pulses can be applied without causing muscle contractions, which may dislodge the electrodes and require the use of a neuroblocker and general anesthesia. According to Christopher B. Arena, Ph.D., co-lead author on the paper with Paulo A. Garcia, Ph.D. and Michael B. Sano, Ph.D., “the fact that the pulses alternate in polarity helps to avoid unwanted, electrically induced movement. Therefore, it could be possible to perform this procedure without using a neuroblocker and with patients under conscious sedation. This is similar to how deep brain stimulation is implemented clinically to treat Parkinson’s disease.”
The team now plans to translate the technology into clinical applications through a university spin-out company, VoltMed, Inc.
Additional co-authors of the TECHNOLOGY paper are John D. Olson from the Center for Biomolecular Imaging at Wake Forest, and Thomas Rogers-Cotrone and John H. Rossmeisl Jr. from the Neurology and Neurosurgery department at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine.
source : http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140812122417.htm