University of the Mediterranean Sea in Marseilles, France


Investigators at the University of the Mediterranean Sea (Marseilles, France) and UAB’s Department of Biomedical Engineering are developing new cancer treatments based on combining endovascular technology and nanotechnology.  Joel L. Berry, Ph.D. (UAB) and Pierre Rolland, Ph.D. (Marseilles) have demonstrated that a nanoengineered embolic agent utilizing multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) can be delivered by intravascular means to very precise locations in living animal models.  When coupled with radiofrequency ablation, the MWCNT-embolized tissue exhibits a highly restricted “kill zone” resulting in specific and targeted removal of tissue volume. Further, they have demonstrated that the fate of the carbon nanotubes is known as they remain suspended within the embolic agent after the ablation has occurred. This technology appears to resolve the problem of non-specific ablation of tissue using radiofrequency cancer treatments and eliminates the potentially harmful distribution of nanoparticles in the living animal. The investigators will continue researching and improving the efficiency of this therapy on both sides of the Atlantic through in vitro and in vivo models.