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Minimally invasive therapies for the brain using magnetic particles

Payne, Chris; (2021) Minimally invasive therapies for the brain using magnetic particles. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Delivering a therapy with precision, while reducing off target effects is key to the success of any novel therapeutic intervention. This is of most relevance in the brain, where the preservation of surrounding healthy tissue is crucial in reducing the risk of cognitive impairment and improving patient prognosis. Our scientific understanding of the brain would also benefit from minimally invasive investigations of specific cell types so that they may be observed in their most natural physiological environment. Magnetic particles based techniques have the potential to deliver cellular precision in a minimally invasive manner. When inside the body, Magnetic particles can be actuated remotely using externally applied magnetic fields while their position can be detected non-invasively using MRI. The magnetic forces applied to the particles however, rapidly decline with increasing distance from the magnetic source. It is therefore critical to understand the amount of force needed for a particular application. The properties of the magnetic particle such as the size, shape and magnetic content, as well as the properties of the applied magnetic field, can then be tailored to that application. The aim of this thesis was to develop magnetic particle based techniques for precise manipulation of cells in the brain. Two different approaches were explored, utilising the versatile nature of magnetic actuation for two different applications. The first approach uses magnetic nanoparticles to mechanically stimulate a specific cell type. Magnetic particles conjugated with the antibody ACSA-1 would selectively bind to astrocytes to evoke the controlled release of ATP and induce a calcium flux which are used for communication with neighbouring cells. This approach allows for the investigation into the role of astrocytes in localised brain regions using a naturally occurring actuation process (mechanical force) without effecting their natural environment. The second approach uses a millimetre sized magnetic particle which can be navigated through the brain and ablate localised regions of cells using a magnetic resonance imaging system. The magnetic particle causes a distinct contrast in MRI images, allowing for precise detection of its location so that it may be iteratively guided along a pre-determined path to avoid eloquent brain regions. Once at the desired location, an alternating magnetic field can be applied causing the magnetic particle to heat and deliver controllable, well defined regions of cell death. The forces needed for cell stimulation are orders of magnitude less than the forces needed to guide particles through the brain. Chapters 4 and 5 use external magnets to deliver forces in the piconewton range. While stimulation was demonstrated in small animals, scaling up this technique to human proportions remains a challenge. Chapters 6 and 7 use a preclinical MRI system to generate forces in the millinewton range, allowing the particle to be moved several centimetres through the brain within a typical surgical timescale. When inside the scanner, an alternating magnetic field causes the particle to heat rapidly, enabling the potential for multiple ablations within a single surgery. For clinical translation of this technique, MRI scanners would require a dedicated propulsion gradient set and heating coil.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Minimally invasive therapies for the brain using magnetic particles
Event: UCL
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2021. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10129199
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