We shall apply an image-guided method to deliver an adenoviral vector targeting hypoxic tumors in a gene-radiation therapy approach. A robotic system is being jointly developed with Johns Hopkins University with the specific capability of image-guided and automated adenoviral vector injection under computer control. The first model is a three-degree-of-freedom Cartesian robot that is designed to rigidly hold the positioning platform of the microPET. A robot controller drives the x-y (horizontal) motion of the platform and the vertical (z) motion of a micro-injector in increments of 0.1 mm. A PC will be used as the console computer, with application software, for the operations of the robot controller, the transfer of 3D tomographic images, and the registration of the 3D coordinates of the robot relative to the microPET images. The application software will assist the user in determining the number of needle tracks and the injection points based on the 3D region of interest of the hypoxic volume as determined by 18F-FMISO microPET imaging.
Also under development is a novel injection device with multiple micro-needles that open like an umbrella, and a micro-pump under computer control for the administration of adenoviral vectors. With this device, we shall be able to accurately control the delivery of the adenoviruses in terms of position (to conform to the target volume), volume, and rate of delivery.
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