"If I were to say that the complexity of what we do is the same as the complexity of designing a car, I wouldn’t be exaggerating."
Since 2007 biomedical engineer Eleanor Stride has been designing a revolutionary new method of delivering drugs by injecting tiny microbubbles into the bloodstream.
Traditional drug delivery through pills or injection send the active agent through the bloodstream meaning that a high percentage of cells in the body are exposed to the drug. In contrast, the targetted delivery mechanism with bubbles aims to release the drugs only when they reach the part of the body where they are needed.
Some of the bubbles are magnetic and the research team is using groundbreaking techniques developed by the Davy Faraday Research Laboratory at the Royal Institution to control the movement and activation of the bubbles within the body.
This drug delivery method has the potential to avoid the widespread destruction of healthy cells that is presently unavoidable with chemotherapy, which would revolutionise the future treatment of cancer sufferers.
The film was produced by Duckrabbit for the ERA Foundation as part of a pilot scheme to demonstrate how engineering is changing lives and how the world works. Ultimately, the project aims to attract young people towards engineering education and careers.