Now researchers at the Graz University of Technology, working in collaboration with the Medical University of Graz and the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre in New York, have finally succeeded in developing the world's first cancer cell model. In this way, they launched "an essential tool for modern cancer research and drug development," says Christian Baumgartner, Head of the Institute of Health Care Engineering with a European Testing Centre of Medical Devices at the Graz University of Technology.
The computer model simulates the cyclical changes in the membrane potential of a cancer cell using the example of human lung adenocarcinoma, thus opening up completely new avenues in cancer research.
The international research team led by Baumgartner focused on the specific electrophysiological properties of non-excitable cancer cells for the first time. The computer model simulates the rhythmic oscillation of the membrane potential during the transition between the individual cell cycle phases and enables prediction of the changes in membrane potential that are caused by drug-induced switching on and off of selected ion channels. "In this way we get information about the effects of targeted interventions on the cancer cell," Baumgartner adds.
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