Bubbles aren't just for kids!
This is some pretty amazing technology in the making.
If you have a few minutes to watch, I recommend it. The technology that they're working on could change the way cancer is treated. Plus, the video has some pretty stunning imagery, and a woman's personal story about her journey with breast cancer is touching.
If you prefer to read, here's a short version:
Chemotherapy can save the life of a cancer patient. But it's highly toxic and can cause harm, too.
There are too many potential side effects to list, and anyone who's been through chemo can probably share a few. (You can read about them here if you'd like.)
What if the answer is bubbles?
Dr. Eleanor Stride is an engineer and scientist who's been working on a way to deliver drugs through tiny micro-bubbles injected into the bloodstream. With chemotherapy, the bubbles would target the cancer cells and go after them instead of flooding the entire body with the toxic substance.
The bubbles are a "vehicle."
This is her with a giant bubble. Here's how she explains the tiny bubbles:
"The bubbles do a number of things. They act as a great vehicle for putting the drugs in. The drug stays within the bubble until we release it, so it avoids going anywhere else around the body. Some of our bubbles that we make are magnetic, so we can actually drag them into a location using a magnet. We then use ultrasound to get the bubbles to start vibrating. The vibration of the bubble actually helps to pump the drug further into the tissue than it would otherwise go. We get a much more effective distribution of the drug throughout the tumor."
While this technology is still in development and therefore experimental, it certainly looks promising.