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Effects of Ultrasound on Microtubules
Sun 24th Apr 2016 at 9:19pm, 0 comments

As I was listening to Dr. Jack Tuszynski deliver his talk at the UIA in Seattle, I was transported back to 'O' level biology lab at my grade school. It was certainly the last time that I had concerned myself with mitosis or microtubules. My memory was jogged into recalling that mitosis was part of cell division and that microtubules were involved in this process.

Dr. Tuszynski was describing his work in the field on oncology. Most treatments of cancer involve either the surgical removal of affected cells or their destruction. But he discusses merely treating the cancerous cells so that they are unable to divide. Obviously if they can't divide the associated tumor can't grow.

Then he reminded us of what resonance can do to a structure and called to mind the Tacoma bridge disaster. Here, in 1940, a large suspension bridge collapsed as its natural frequency of oscillation was stimulated by a fairly light wind. It shows how undamped oscillation at a resonant frequency can result in structural failure. Now firmly back in the realms of physics, I was much happier.

The theory is to use ultrasound to stimulate resonance in the microtubules within cancer cells so they are damaged and unable to perform the necessary functions required to effect cell division. Again, the big advantage, as with most ultrasound therapy; it is non-invasive.

Dr. Tuszynski's work is ongoing at the University of Alberta.


Tony Harris

24 April 2016


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