Micro-Encapsulation

Microgravity research has helped develop microcapsules that are significantly larger and carry more drug than those produced on Earth.  A single step process forming tiny liquid-filled, biodegradable, micro-balloons containing various drug solutions has been shown to provide better drug delivery and new medical treatments for solid tumors and resistant infections.  Testing in mouse models has shown that these unique microcapsules can be injected into human prostate tumors to inhibit tumor growth or can be injected following cryo-surgery to improve the destruction of the tumors much better than freezing or local chemotherapy alone.  The microcapsules can contain a contrast agent that enables C-T, x-ray, or ultrasound imaging to monitor the distribution within the tissues to ensure that the entire tumor is treated.  Further experiments could lead to development of anti-tumor drugs which allow the delivery of higher doses of chemotherapeutic agents to specific treatment sites, reducing unwanted side effects.

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