Targeting a Tumor
By devising a new computational method that tracks the flow of therapeutic drug particles in an aerosol from the lips to the lungs, researchers can deposit a drug on a targeted lung tumor with 90 percent efficiency. This is a major improvement over the 20 percent efficiency of conventional aerosol treatment methods. One key to the success of this new computational method is the development of a human digital twin that can be made patient-specific using the real geometry of the patient’s lungs.
“By increasing the accuracy of delivering a chemotherapeutic drug to a lung tumor to 90 percent, versus 20 percent by conventional aerosol methods, they have potentially improved the prognosis for many cancer patients.”
Personalized medicine is starting to replace the current “one size fits all” approach to medical treatment. One goal is to deliver the right dose of the right drug, at the right time and location, to the specified patient. Researchers at Oklahoma State University used ANSYS computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations to devise a computational fluid– particle dynamics (CFPD) method for comprehensive analysis of inhaled drug particulate matter dynamics. CFPD is designed to answer the questions: “How can we determine where a given drug particle in an inhaled aerosol stream ends up in the lung?” and “How can we change the properties of the aerosol to target a specific location in the lung?”
Through an academic partnership with ANSYS, university researchers at the Computational Biofluidics and Biomechanics Laboratory (CBBL) apply ANSYS CFD to study the precision delivery by an inhaler device of cancer-destroying drugs to tumor-only locations in the lungs (healthy tissue is not exposed). CFPD is also capable of subject-specific health risk assessment for in silico occupational exposure studies, including simulations of real-time ventilation, skin absorption and lung deposition.
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