Super Boobs: The Buzz on Cancer-Fighting Breast Implants
Melissa Rudy on 30 Apr 2012 at 11:00am
It seems there's good news on the horizon for the hundreds of thousands of breast cancer sufferers out there. Research at two separate universities is giving breast implants a bigger vision. Instead of merely plumping our busts, there will be implants designed with a whole new triple-D in mind: detect, deter, and destroy cancer cells.
Brown University: A bed of nails for your breasts
Sounds painful, doesn't it? Don't worry. These nano-nails hurt only cancer.
Biomedical scientists at Brown have designed an implant that features microscopic “pimples” on the surface. These tiny bumps apparently act as anathema to malignant cells, preventing them from thriving in your tissues.
Lead researcher Thomas Weber reports, “It's a surface that's hospitable to healthy breast cells and less so for cancerous cells. This is like a bed-of-nails surface to them.”
In laboratory tests, the textured implants were compared with normal surfaces, and found to increase the growth of healthy endothelial breast cells by 15 percent in just one day. If they're successful in human trials, these implants could help not only breast cancer victims, but also women with a family history of breast cancer.
University of Akron: Seek-and-destroy implants
Thanks to the GE Healthymagination Cancer Challenge, a group of scientists in Akron are designing implants that will basically act like a guided missile system inside your breasts.
The team, led by Judit E Puskas, Ph.D., is working to embed medication into polymer implants. This targeted drug delivery is intended to reduce inflammation, fight infection, and even target and destroy stray cancer cells—welcome news for the growing ranks of women who undergo reconstructive breast surgery following a bout with cancer, and face the possibility of relapse.
Beating breast cancer from the inside
Will these “super boobs” bring us the great strides in the battle against breast cancer we've been hoping for? Time will tell—but at the moment, the outlook is rosy. (Not to mention perky.)