Externally applied energy forms such as ultrasound, shock-waves, magnetic or radiation fields can be deployed under real-time image guidance for non-invasive surgery or to achieve targeted release and enhanced delivery of therapeutic agents from stimulus-responsive drug carriers. A key focus of the research in the Bbiomedical Ultrasonics, Biotherapy and Biopharmaceuticals Laboratory (BUBBL) is the identification, optimization and modelling of key mechanisms that can simultaneously enhance non-invasive therapy and enable real-time monitoring and control of the therapeutic process deep within the body.
The BUBBL research facility is unique by virtue of its capability to manufacture a wide array of stimulus-responsive micro- and nano-carriers, ranging from liposomes to multi-layered vesicles for multi-modality and theranostic use, as well as having the capacity to design, build and test the customized therapeutic devices, which provide the stimuli to impact upon these carriers, and the techniques for real-time monitoring of non-invasive therapies, such as Passive Acoustic Mapping.
Key application areas include the treatment of cancer and solid tumours, delivery through the blood-brain barrier and stroke therapy, and, transdermal vaccination. Therapeutic agents being delivered range from conventional chemotherapeutics to siRNA, immuno-oncology antibodies and oncolytic viruses. We work closely with colleagues in oncology, surgery, molecular medicine and radiology to translate our findings into early-phase clinical trials and subsequently into clinical practice.