Towards a multiphysics modelling framework for thermosensitive liposomal drug delivery to solid tumour combined with focused ultrasound hyperthermia

Wenbo Zhan, Wladyslaw Gedroyc, Xiao Yun Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Systemic toxicity and insufficient drug accumulation at the tumour site are main barriers in chemotherapy. Thermosensitive liposomes (TSL) combined with high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) has emerged as a potential solution to overcome these barriers through targeted drug delivery and localised release. Owing to the multiple physical and biochemical processes involved in this combination therapy, mathematical modelling becomes an indispensable tool for detailed analysis of the transport processes and prediction of tumour drug uptake. To this end, a multiphysics model has been developed to simulate the transport of chemotherapy drugs delivered through a combined HIFU–TSL system. All key delivery processes are considered in the model; these include interstitial fluid flow, HIFU acoustics, bioheat transfer, drug release and transport, as well as tumour drug uptake. The capability of the model is demonstrated through its application to a 2-D prostate tumour model reconstructed from magnetic resonance images. Our results not only demonstrate the feasibility of the model to simulate this combination therapy, but also confirm the advantage of HIFU–TSL drug delivery system with enhancement of drug accumulation in tumour regions and reduction of drug availability in normal tissue. This multiphysics modelling framework can serve as a useful tool to assist in the design of HIFU–TSL drug delivery systems and treatment regimen for improved anticancer efficacy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number43
Pages (from-to)43-59
Number of pages17
JournalBiophysics Reports
Issue number1
Early online date5 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019



  • Chemotherapy
  • Drug Delivery
  • High intensity focused ultrasound
  • Mathematical model
  • Thermosensitive liposome

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