Computer Modeling of Drug Delivery with Thermosensitive Liposomes in a Realistic Three-Dimensional Geometry

Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2020 Jul:2020:5021-5024. doi: 10.1109/EMBC44109.2020.9176829.


Thermosensitive liposomes (TSL) are nanoparticles that can encapsulate therapeutic drugs, and release those drugs when exposed to hyperthermic temperatures (>40 °C). Combined with localized hyperthermia, TSL enable focused drug delivery. In this study, we created a three-dimensional (3D) computer model for simulating delivery with TSL-encapsulated doxorubicin (TSL-Dox) to mouse tumors. A mouse hind limb was scanned by a 3D scanner and the resulting geometry was imported into finite element modeling software, with a virtual tumor added. Then, heating by a surface probe was simulated. Further, a drug delivery model was coupled to the heat transfer model to simulate drug delivery kinetics. For comparison, experimental studies in gel phantoms and in vivo fluorescence imaging studies in mice carrying lung tumor xenografts were performed. We report the tissue temperature profile, drug concentration profile and compare the experimental studies with the computer model. The thermistor produced very localized heating that resulted in highest drug delivery to regions near the probe. The average tumor temperature was 38.2˚C (range 34.4-43.4˚C), and produced an average tumor drug concentration of 11.8 µg/g (0.3-28.1 µg/g) after 15 min heating, and 25.6 µg/g (0.3-52 µg/g), after 60 min heating. The computer model reproduced the temperature profile compared to phantom experiments (mean error 0.71 °C, range 0.59-1.25 °C), as well as drug delivery profile as compared to in vivo studies. Our results suggest feasibility of using this approach to model drug delivery in preclinical studies with accurate model geometry.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic / therapeutic use
  • Computer Simulation
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Hyperthermia, Induced*
  • Liposomes*
  • Mice


  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic
  • Liposomes