Device for accessing cancer cells

Value Proposition

Studies have shown that the invasion of malignant gliomas occurs predominantly along major elongated structures, such as white matter fiber tracts and blood vessels. These structures act as “highways” for the spread of the tumor. Because of this growth pattern, it can be particularly challenging to access these types of tumors for therapy and monitoring.


This device is a scaffold that provides bi-directional access to a tumor. The scaffold has a catheter with a nanofiber structure that is implanted close to the tumor, and on the proximal end of the catheter there is a reservoir that is accessible to a physician. In one mode of operation, intra-tumor pressure causes tumor cells to move along the catheter and into the reservoir, where a cytoxic agent kills the cells. In another mode of operation, therapeutic agents can be dispensed into the reservoir and delivered to the treatment site through the catheter. The scaffold can also be used for excavating or transplanting cells.


  • Evaluate the progression of a tumor or to monitor other biological changes over time
  • Detect clinically significant changes that may be too small to detect with imaging

Duke File (IDF) Number



  • Bellamkonda, Ravi
  • Brahma, Barun
  • Mokarram-Dorri, Nassir

For more information please contact


Pratt School of Engineering