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The Center for Process Innovation (CPI) and LightOx Ltd. are collaborating on a photonics project to advance the development of next-generation cancer treatments using phototherapeutic methods.
The project focuses on light-based treatments to target removal of skin and oral cancer cells. CPI is supporting LightOx to develop a range of molecular tools for use in imaging, therapeutics, and assay development. The chemical probes enable cell imaging, detection, tracking, and tagging of bioactive molecules. Tags are imaged using fluorescence and Raman spectroscopy.
Officials said the probes are smaller than any other commercial product available for these applications, bypassing traditional problems associated with fluorescent probes and providing facile delivery into the cell, as well as minimal disruption to cell activity prior to light activation — fundamentally changing the way in which these therapies can be delivered to patients.
The technology also targets therapeutic action to particular body sites using a simple delivery system that enables instant treatment, as well as cell death of selected cells and tissues without damage to healthy cells, minimizing side effects for patients.
The collaboration forms part of the Spotlight program, a partnership between CPI and Durham University that is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Providing support to small to medium enterprises in the County Durham area, Spotlight helps businesses perform early stage proof-of-concept research and supports the scaling of photonics technologies to accelerate commercialization into the health care sector.
CPI’s health care photonics team has supported the progression of LightOx’s molecular technology through optical analysis of LightOx’s fluorescent drugs. Complementing this analysis, Durham University helped produce a prototype controllable, calibrated, light-delivery system to allow LightOx to validate new compounds. LightOx is in the process of developing its products for clinical applications.
The project comes shortly after the opening of CPI’s new National Healthcare Photonics Centre. The center will support the creation of medtech products by acting as a hub for partnerships between businesses and academic teams to work on new diagnosis methods, imaging systems (including endoscopy), and light-based treatments.READ MORE