Technology strengthens cancer-fighting research | Chris O'Brien Lifehouse
 In Lifehouse News, OpenHouse News

We are excited to announce that the new second-generation Phenom Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) has been installed in the Sarcoma & Surgical Research Centre at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse. This incredible piece of technology was purchased with the generous support of The Ian Potter Foundation and the Federal Government.

With its unsurpassed magnification, the SEM is the only microscope that allows visibility to cells growing on 3D surfaces. This is crucial to our research into bone replacement technology for patients with sarcoma and head and neck cancer.

“Patients often urgently require bone replacement; however titanium implants interfere with radiation therapy. We have developed a prototype polymer scaffold that is compatible with radiation and designed to enable a patient’s real bone to grow around it once implanted, significantly improving recovery.” says A/Prof Natalka Suchowerska, Medical Physicist at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse.

The team are now at the stage of incubating the scaffolds with bone cells to determine how the cells grow around the honeycomb-like polymer surface.

“The SEM is the only microscope that enables us to see the cells on the scaffold and confirm if they are attaching and transforming to bone,” says A/Prof Suchowerska. “This information is crucial to designing the most effective approach that will improve outcomes for our patients.”

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