Bubbles for bone: acoustic stimulation for drug delivery in fracture repair

Lead Research Organisation: University of Southampton
Department Name: Faculty of Engineering & the Environment

Abstract

In this studentship, we propose to attempt this by delivering ultrasound-responsive bubbles to the fracture site. Ultrasound stimulation of bubbles causes them to resonate. In our preliminary data, we have shown that this results in the release of bubble-associated drugs, improved uptake of compounds in nearby cells, and mechanostimulation of cells through either direct membrane interaction or via shear of extracellular media. More recently we have found that acoustically-responsive bubbles can be fabricated in the nanometre size range and that they accumulate at fracture sites (Figure 2). This means we will be able to localise drug-containing nanobubbles at bone fracture sites, before remotely stimulating them with ultrasound to both release their cargo and mechanostimulate the surrounding tissue.
In this studentship, the student will first develop and optimise nanobubbles and ultrasound-responsive nanodroplet formulations (which cavitate to form microbubbles upon ultrasound stimulation) to demonstrate that these agents can simultaneously be used to deliver drugs and to mechanostimulate stem cells, inducing their differentiation in in vitro models. He or she will then determine which size and chemical characteristics lead to localisation of bubbles to the fracture callus post-injury. Finally, the student will test in vivo whether acoustic stimulation of fracture callus-localised bubbles affects the rate and quality of bone fracture healing. The student will train with experts in stem cell biology, mechanobiology, nanotechnology and ultrasonics from established experts at UoS, and with a collaboration with the University of Oxford (biomedical ultrasonics, biotherapy and biopharmaceuticals laboratory).

Publications

10 25 50

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509747/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2021
1938424 Studentship EP/N509747/1 25/09/2017 30/09/2020 Anastasia Polydorou
 
Description A-level open day demonstrations 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact A-level students attended our research institute where they experienced a number of lab demonstrations on rotation to explore the different fields of research at the University. I participated in the stem cell and tissue regeneration session where we illustrated stem cell isolation and presented on the role of stem cells in tissue regeneration. Students showed interest, participated and asked questions relating to pursuing a career in research. A couple of students were very interested and followed up the following year to carry out a weeks work experience at the institute.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018,2019
 
Description Meet the Scientist LifeLab sessions 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact approximately 50 students attend the LifeLab sessions held at the General Hospital where they get the chance to speak to a scientists. I have run a number of these 'Meet the scientist' sessions where I describe the work that I do to students between Y9-Y11. The aim of the sessions is to inspire students to pursue STEM subjects and consider a future in science, therefore much of the discussion is based on what a scientist does, what a career in science involves and address curiosity questions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018,2019
 
Description Pint of Science 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The general public attended one of the many talks across Southampton during the 2018 Pint of Science event where I was invited to give a talk on my work in the bubbles for bone project in The Future of Medicine - Biotechnology session on May 16th. The talk was designed to reach a lay audience and share with the public the work that is being done in bone fracture repair and targeted drug delivery.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://pintofscience.co.uk/event/biotechnology