New nanogel -protecting the hearing of young cancer patients

A new nano-gel, created by researchers from Curtin University in Perth, Australia, may lead to a breakthrough in the prevention of hearing loss in children receiving chemotherapy.

Chemotherapy destroys cancer tissues but can also kill other healthy tissues, such as those in the inner ear, resulting in hearing loss. In fact, around half of all children who survive cancer will experience some degree of permanent hearing loss due to the toxic effects of the drugs.  The Australian researchers are in the process of testing a new nano-gel they’ve developed from human bile, which, when injected into the ear, is hoped will protect children from this common side effect of chemotherapy treatment. 

Why bile, and why use a nano-gel?

Bile salts have been shown to be powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents. The team have put the bile through various specialised processes to create the gel. As a nano-gel, the treatment can be highly targeted and delivered into particular cells across challenging barriers within the body.  The researchers have used cutting edge technologies to develop the treatment, including a newly developed scanning electron microscope, which has enabled them to see the features of the nano-gel in micro and nano scale.

We look forward to learning the results of the nano-gel tests and hope they bring good news for children receiving chemo treatment.

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