A team of Chinese scientists has developed an implantable battery that takes oxygen from cancerous tumors. A small device shows promising results in mice (preclinical study), so it can easily be tested in humans.
Jianhang Huang, a researcher at Zhejiang University, and colleagues tested the pill and provided a complementary medicine. Thus, two weeks into the course, they managed to reduce the tumors by 90% on average and managed to eliminate four out of five of them.
The study was published in the journal Science Advances this Friday, March 31.
‘Asphyxiate’ to kill the tumor
As the tumor grows larger and overwhelms the available blood supply, it leaves the parts with little oxygen supply. Given this, an alternative to PAHs has emerged, compounds that act in said microenvironments and kill hypoxic (low oxygen) cells.
But to treat it effectively, the entire tumor is required to be hypoxic.
Thus, the team led by Huang, inspired by the redox reaction in batteries, designed that uses salt water and is made of carbonyl and biocompatible zinc metal, whose maintenance and release constantly consumes oxygen from the site in which it is located. .
Since oxygen tumors were completely new, scientists used PAH, tirapazamine, to kill the tumor cells in these malignant growths.
Finally, 80% of tumors are completely removed. Meanwhile, the 20% that still persisted was significantly reduced.
The authors highlight that the biocompatible components “reduce the mechanical damage of the implantable batteries”, thus they have a promising safety profile for human use.
Also, based on these findings, they show that the chemistry of redox batteries “offers great potential for developing other therapeutic mechanisms,” such as microenvironment control and electrical stimulation of inflammation.