Students from the first year Bsc. Nanobiology have made this final exercise for the course Biomolecular Programming. They have designed a program in the programming language Java that simulates targeted drug delivery by liposomes and hypothermia
Current cancer treatment therapies can be roughly divided in three types: 1) killing tumor cells by gamma-irradiation of the tumor (radiation therapy), 2) administration (injection in the blood stream) of chemicals that inhibit cell division by intercalating in DNA (chemotherapy), and 3) injection of hormone-like chemicals that inhibit cell division by interfering with specific regulatory biochemical pathways (hormone therapy).
Novel methods are being developed in which the therapeutic drug is encapsulated in tiny liposomes (10 to 100 nm). The liposomes that are used in this therapy do not release their content at 37°C, but do so at 42°C. After injection the liposomes in the bloodstream, they only release their content at the tumor site when the tumor tissue is locally heated (see figure below). Local heating (hyperthermia) of the tumor is achieved by focusing an infrared laser beam in the tissue.
In this final exercise the students made a program that simulates liposomes streaming through a (part of) a blood vessel, and leaking out through holes in the vessel wall. When a specific region is heated liposomes will release medicine molecules and the local tumor will get destroyed.
Students that took the effort to add biological relevant creative or extra elements to the final assignment or with outstanding code are listed below showing their simulations.
Hereby we present the best programs of the year 2019 in random order: