Novel 3D printed stents deliver breakthrough treatment for oesophageal cancer

February 02, 2021

World-first 3D printed oesophageal stents developed by the University of South Australia could revolutionise the delivery of chemotherapy drugs to provide more accurate, effective and personalised treatment for patients with oesophageal cancer.

Fabricated from polyurethane filament and incorporating the chemotherapy drug 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), the new oesophageal stents are the first to contain active pharmaceutical ingredients within their matrix .

Their unique composition allows them to deliver up to 110 days of a sustained anti-cancer medication directly to the cancer site, restricting further tumour growth.

Importantly, the capabilities of 3D printing enabling rapid creation of individually tailored stents with patient-specific geometries and drug dosages.

PhD scholar, UniSA's Paris Fouladian, says the new oesophageal stents could be a gamechanger for treating oesophageal cancer.

"Oesophageal cancer is often challenging to treat, with early diagnosis critical for positive outcomes," Fouladian says.

"The most prominent symptom is dysphagia (difficulty swallowing food or drink) which is due to malignant cancer cells blocking the oesophagus.

"Blockages are commonly eased by an oesophageal stent - a small tube that is placed in the food pipe to keep it open - but these too can become obstructed by invading cancer cells.

"Our new drug-loaded oesophageal stents can help prevent further blockages by administering anti-cancer drugs directly to the tumour, limiting further growth while relieving the pressure of dysphagia."

The new drug-loaded 3D printed oesophageal stents are stable to both UV and gamma sterilization processes.

Oesophageal cancer is the seventh most common cancer in the world, and the sixth highest cause of cancer deaths worldwide. Unless diagnosed early, prognosis remains poor with a five-year survival rate of around 20 per cent.

Senior researcher and Director of UniSA's Pharmaceutical Innovation and Development Group, Professor Sanjay Garg, says the new technology is a significant breakthrough in modern drug delivery.

"3D printing processes that combine medicines and medical devices are on the precipice of changing the way we deliver medicines," Prof Garg says.

"We're now exploring the potential of 3D printing to design precise and individualised drug delivery systems.

"While more research is needed to further test the new drug-loaded 3D printed stents, we're hopeful that this new technology will deliver positive outcomes for people with oesophageal cancer."
-end-
Notes to editors:

Media contact: Annabel Mansfield T: +61 8 8302 0351 M: +61 417 717 504
E: Annabel.Mansfield@unisa.edu.au
Researcher: Prof Sanjay Garg T: +61 8 8302 1575 M: +61 478 589 728 E: sanjay.garg@unisa.edu.au

University of South Australia

Related Technology Articles from Brightsurf:

December issue SLAS Technology features 'advances in technology to address COVID-19'
The December issue of SLAS Technology is a special collection featuring the cover article, ''Advances in Technology to Address COVID-19'' by editors Edward Kai-Hua Chow, Ph.D., (National University of Singapore), Pak Kin Wong, Ph.D., (The Pennsylvania State University, PA, USA) and Xianting Ding, Ph.D., (Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China).

October issue SLAS Technology now available
The October issue of SLAS Technology features the cover article, 'Role of Digital Microfl-uidics in Enabling Access to Laboratory Automation and Making Biology Programmable' by Varun B.

Robot technology for everyone or only for the average person?
Robot technology is being used more and more in health rehabilitation and in working life.

Novel biomarker technology for cancer diagnostics
A new way of identifying cancer biomarkers has been developed by researchers at Lund University in Sweden.

Technology innovation for neurology
TU Graz researcher Francesco Greco has developed ultra-light tattoo electrodes that are hardly noticeable on the skin and make long-term measurements of brain activity cheaper and easier.

April's SLAS Technology is now available
April's Edition of SLAS Technology Features Cover Article, 'CURATE.AI: Optimizing Personalized Medicine with Artificial Intelligence'.

Technology in higher education: learning with it instead of from it
Technology has shifted the way that professors teach students in higher education.

Post-lithium technology
Next-generation batteries will probably see the replacement of lithium ions by more abundant and environmentally benign alkali metal or multivalent ions.

Rethinking the role of technology in the classroom
Introducing tablets and laptops to the classroom has certain educational virtues, according to Annahita Ball, an assistant professor in the University at Buffalo School of Social Work, but her research suggests that tech has its limitations as well.

The science and technology of FAST
The Five hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST), located in a radio quiet zone, with the targets (e.g., radio pulsars and neutron stars, galactic and extragalactic 21-cm HI emission).

Read More: Technology News and Technology Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.