3D Printed Absorber for Capturing Chemotherapy Drugs before They Spread through the Body

Hee Jeung Oh, Mariam S. Aboian, Michael Y.J. Yi, Jacqueline A. Maslyn, Whitney S. Loo, Xi Jiang, Dilworth Y. Parkinson, Mark W. Wilson, Terilyn Moore, Colin R. Yee, Gregory R. Robbins, Florian M. Barth, Joseph M. Desimone, Steven W. Hetts, Nitash P. Balsara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Despite efforts to develop increasingly targeted and personalized cancer therapeutics, dosing of drugs in cancer chemotherapy is limited by systemic toxic side effects. We have designed, built, and deployed porous absorbers for capturing chemotherapy drugs from the bloodstream after these drugs have had their effect on a tumor, but before they are released into the body where they can cause hazardous side effects. The support structure of the absorbers was built using 3D printing technology. This structure was coated with a nanostructured block copolymer with outer blocks that anchor the polymer chains to the 3D printed support structure and a middle block that has an affinity for the drug. The middle block is polystyrenesulfonate which binds to doxorubicin, a widely used and effective chemotherapy drug with significant toxic side effects. The absorbers are designed for deployment during chemotherapy using minimally invasive image-guided endovascular surgical procedures. We show that the introduction of the absorbers into the blood of swine models enables the capture of 64 ± 6% of the administered drug (doxorubicin) without any immediate adverse effects. Problems related to blood clots, vein wall dissection, and other biocompatibility issues were not observed. This development represents a significant step forward in minimizing toxic side effects of chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)419-427
Number of pages9
JournalACS Central Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 27 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering


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