Creating Biomedical Technologies to Improve Health

2017 BESIP Project

NIH Center for Interventional Oncology and Chief, Interventional Radiology Section
Mentor Name: 
Bradford Wood, M.D. Projects #1, #2, #3
Andrew Mikhail
Ayele Negussie
Mentor Telephone: 
(301) 443-8191

Laboratory and Project Description

The Center for Interventional Oncology (CIO) ( offers new and expanded opportunities to investigate cancer therapies that use imaging technology to diagnose and treat localized cancers in ways that are precisely targeted and minimally- or non-invasive. The Center for Interventional Oncology (CIO), under the leadership of Dr. Bradford Wood, has pioneered various technologies and procedures using mini-GPS for the human body to combine cutting-edge magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET), computed tomography (CT), cone beam CT and ultrasound to navigate a diagnostic and/or therapeutic device through the body. Students working at the CIO will gain experience in a translational research environment within the NIH Clinical Center (CC).
The CIO is looking for motivated students for the following projects:
Project #1: Drug-device combinations and nanomedicines for treatment of solid tumors
Transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) is a minimally invasive
procedure to treat patients with tumors that are not amenable to surgery. This project focuses on characterizing a novel, drug-device combination consisting of image-able, drug-loaded embolic beads for TACE of hepatic tumors. The prospective BESIP summer student will seek to develop methods to predict drug accumulation in the liver following TACE based on the assessment of bead density as visualized with computed tomography. The student may also have the opportunity to design 3-D printed organ “molds” in order to facilitate correlation of radiological images with tissue specimens. Depending on his/her interests and skill sets, the student may also be involved in characterizing the targeted delivery and tissue distribution of thermosensitive nanomedicines or development of tissue phantoms for use with a variety of thermal therapy devices such as radiofrequency or microwave ablation.
Project #2:  Bone cement with drug loading capability
Orthopaedic cements are biomaterials often used in orthopaedic applications to anchor implants to existing bone, reconstruct bone and deliver bioactive agents to the bone to treat bone cancer or to control bacterial infection or both. The current clinically available bone cement has critical limitations in delivering bioactive agents to bone or halting bacterial infection. Our goal is in situ modification of clinically approved orthopaedic cement so as to add loading and release capability of bioactive agents. The student will learn different techniques pertinent to drug loading and release studies,
physical characteristics of bone cement using state of the art techniques and in-depth knowledge of the art of orthopaedic cements production and use.
Project #3:   Therapeutic ultrasound
Therapeutic ultrasound is a new non-invasive method of tumor ablation. Some structures, such as bone, absorb and reflect ultrasound energy and cause excessive unwanted heating. This project explores different methods to eliminate this unwanted heat and damage. We will use MRI guidance for High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) therapy in combination with a tissue and bone-mimicking phantoms made and characterized in our lab. In a separate aim, for guidance and planning of this therapy data will be acquired using novel MRI sequence, 4D MRI, and processed with Matlab. We need to develop a Matlab code to process medical images and analyze motion. Finally, we aim to characterize the acoustic properties of materials using Acoustic Calipers. Acoustic properties of different material are important for applications of HIFU ablation of tissue. The primary focus of this aim is to develop a standard method and software to acquire and process the data. For this application, we need to develop software using Matlab and/or LabView to control lab equipment (i.e. Function Generator, Oscilloscope) and acquire data.