Korean Professor delivers drugs safely to the brain using laser

The cerebral blood vessels have a unique blood-brain barrier. Using this unique structure, Professor Choi Chul Hee (Department of Bio-Brain Engineering-KAIST) developed a technique to deliver drugs safely to the brain using lasers to alter the diffusivity of the blood-brain barrier. The blood-brain barrier allows the entry of only those drugs related to metabolic functions which made the entry of other drugs difficult. Due to this property it was difficult to administer the drug to a patient and have it affect the patient. Therefore the question was is it possible to maintain the effectiveness of the drug and allow it to pass through the barrier?

cranial-craniotomy.jpgThe conventional method was to actually alter the structure of the drug or drill of small hole in the head and administering the drug directly, but these methods proved to be high risk and expensive. Professor Choi’s team used an ultra-short frequency laser beam on the barrier for 1/1000th of a second on the barrier to temporarily inhibit its function thereby allowing the drug to enter the brain safely.