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Vascular bursts enhance permeability of tumour blood vessels and improve nanoparticle delivery : Professor Kazunori Kataoka, Department of Materials Engineering , and other researchers.

Enhanced permeability in tumours is thought to result from malformed vascular walls with leaky cell-to-cell junctions. This assertion is backed by studies using electron microscopy and polymer casts that show incomplete pericyte coverage of tumour vessels and the presence of intercellular gaps. However, this gives the impression that tumour permeability is static amid a chaotic tumour environment. Using intravital confocal laser scanning microscopy we show that the permeability of tumour blood vessels includes a dynamic phenomenon characterized by vascular bursts followed by brief vigorous outward flow of fluid (named ‘eruptions’) into the tumour interstitial space. We propose that ‘dynamic vents’ form transient openings and closings at these leaky blood vessels. These stochastic eruptions may explain the enhanced extravasation of nanoparticles from the tumour blood vessels, and offer insights into the underlying distribution patterns of an administered drug.


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