Cancer Research Update

As the summer dwindles down, we can reflect on the progress that has been made throughout the summer. Not only have we developed lasting friendships, improved our scientific communication skills, and explored Austin, but we have conducted seven weeks of research! Working at the lab has brought out the best in us and has made us immerse ourselves, not only into research papers, but into lab life. On a daily basis, we have gone in and out of lab, each day learning a new concept, new ideas, and having many questions as we walked out. We may now proceed to the next step and present all that we have learned and what has yet to be discovered.

As for me, I’m just attempting to add a little contribution to the large pool of cancer research. Throughout this summer, I have worked in a medical device laboratory, attempting to develop a catheter for convection enhanced delivery to glioblastomas. So far, convection enhanced delivery is causing backflow of the infused therapeutics. In order to solve this problem, I have been trying to create a pressure driven system. So far, I have been able to narrow down a pressure range in which there is no backflow during infusions.  Thankfully, the results that I have been collecting prove that the volume distributed is still optimal while diminishing the amount of backflow shown. Now we can proceed to develop a system that can computationally keep a consistent pressure throughout an infusion.

The image displays the distribution patterns of the infusate and demonstrates no reflux. I took this image at the lab during one of my experiments.

-Bianca Montano, University of Texas at El Paso

Posted in 2017, cancer, reflections

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