In recent years, new advances in the existing technologies have opened up a range of opportunities regarding therapy. In particular, the validation of advanced radiosurgery and radiotherapy machines and treatments, the application of electromagnetic mediated thermotherapy and targeted laser hyperthermia of tumours is opening up new possibilities in the fight against cancer. Also, new drug delivery systems are being developed based mainly on the application of light. Transdermal delivery makes use of laser beams to increase the permeability of the skin, and thermally-induced delivery is advancing with the development of new nano-carriers and advanced optical methods to allow light to have a better penetration in the tissues.

Making use of the existing skills, this thematic line aims to position IBEB’s R&D and its efforts on advanced training, contributing with state-of-the-art research in cutting edge technological applications to the better understanding of disease progression and therapy in Oncology and Neurosciences.

Thus, the overall objective of this thematic line is to study, develop and implement techniques and methodologies to support or create new therapy and drug delivery systems. Three main fields are defined: radiotherapy, thermotherapy and photonics.

Despite being a relatively recent thematic line at IBEB, several research activities are already being undertaken in different fields:

  • Development of numerical models to study the interaction of laser radiation with tissues, drug carriers and nanoparticles, mainly regarding their thermal effects.
  • Evaluation of emerging nanotechnologies in the development of therapy and drug delivery systems (with external partners).
  • Experimental implementation of irradiating methodologies (for tissues, nanoparticles and drug carriers) and related metrology tools. This includes in vitro and in vivo studies (with external partners).
  • Development of phase-shaping methods for the correction of an incident wavefront in order to minimize the effects of scattered light.
  • Development of multifunctional magnetic devices (e.g. polymer+FeOx) and nanoparticles (e.g. gold+FeOx) for drug-delivery and hyperthermia (with external partners).
  • Development of an apparatus for guiding magnetic devices and magnetic drug-delivery systems.
  • Studying methods for magnetic device/particle-mediated hyperthermia towards the future development of an apparatus which integrates magnetic device/particle imaging, guiding and hyperthermia.
  • Study of laser scanner methodologies for breast reconstruction after mastectomy.
  • Monte Carlo study of a novel design of Co-60 based rotational therapy machines (Gamma-Tomo e Gamma-Knife) for radiosurgery and therapy (SRS/SBRT) Dosimetric Studies of Advanced SRS/SRT Systems for Intra/Extracranial Tumours.
  • Investigation of Conformal Arc Therapy Utilizing Newly Designed Cobalt 60 Machines.
  • Investigation of Dose Mass Histogram as alternative for the validation of the clinical outcome of the radiotherapy plan.