Designing an implantable battery to destroy tumors

When used in combination with a pro drug called tirapazamine, the researchers described the battery, which reduced tumor volume by an average of 90 percent over two weeks and eliminated tumors in four out of five mice.

A prodrug is a drug that first enters the body in an inactive form (or with less activity than a fully active state) and then turns into its active form through the body’s natural metabolic processes.

A group of researchers from Fudan University, inspired by the redox reaction of electrodes in batteries, designed an implantable device consisting of bio compatible carbonyl based polyamide and metallic zinc.

The battery can create a self-discharge and charge cycle to continuously consume oxygen in mouse tumors, thus regulating the oxygen content and pH level of the tumor.

According to this study, the salt water battery with good plasticity can be implanted subcutaneously on the surface of the tumor to properly cover the tumor.

Zhang Fan, a professor at Fudan University and the author of the article, said: This study showed that the salt water battery can be used as an effective regulator of the tumor micro environment for anti-tumor therapy.

In addition, no abnormal changes in body weight, skin, and normal organs of mice were reported during treatment, indicating the safety of the battery.

Fudan professor and study author Xia Yongyao said, “This work is a crossover study between battery technology and biotherapy, which not only provides a new therapeutic method for anti-tumor therapy, but also sets a precedent for batteries in biomedical applications.”


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