Magnetic Drug Targeting: Developing the Basics
Nacev, Aleksandar Nelson
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Focusing medicine to disease locations is a needed ability to treat a variety of pathologies. During chemotherapy, for example, typically less than 0.1% of the drugs are taken up by tumor cells, with the remaining 99.9% going into healthy tissue. Physicians often select the dosage by how much a patient can physically withstand rather than by how much is needed to kill all the tumor cells. The ability to actively position medicine, to physically direct and focus it to specific locations in the body, would allow better treatment of not only cancer but many other diseases. Magnetic drug targeting (MDT) harnesses therapeutics attached to magnetizable particles, directing them to disease locations using magnetic fields. Particles injected into the vasculature will circulate throughout the body as the applied magnetic field is used to attempt confinement at target locations. The goal is to use the reservoir of particles in the general circulation and target a specific location by pulling the nanoparticles using magnetic forces. This dissertation adds three main advancements to development of magnetic drug targeting. Chapter 2 develops a comprehensive ferrofluid transport model within any blood vessel and surrounding tissue under an applied magnetic field. Chapter 3 creates a ferrofluid mobility model to predict ferrofluid and drug concentrations within physiologically relevant tissue architectures established from human autopsy samples. Chapter 4 optimizes the applied magnetic fields within the particle mobility models to predict the best treatment scenarios for two classes of chemotherapies for treating future patients with hepatic metastatic breast cancer microtumors.