The neuro-surgeon behind a revolutionary treatment to combat brain tumours in children is to up meet with some of the top N. Sea oil and gas engineers this week to discover if their methods and expertise can help him refine his work.
Professor Steven Gill, the Bristol-based neurosurgeon who developed the convection-enhanced delivery system (CED), will take part in a round table discussion with the industry’s leading engineers in Aberdeen.
Professor Gill’s CED system works by infusing treatment drugs directly into the brain through a series of micro-catheters linked by a port attached to a patient’s head. This pioneering method allows the professor and his team to circumvent the brain-blood barrier which stops anything getting through the brain doesn’t recognise – including man-made drugs.
Several of the country’s leading oil and gas companies will be represented at the meeting, including BP North Sea, Westerton UK, Precision Oil Tools, Axis Well Technology and Well-SENSE Technology.
John Scrimgeour, Executive Director of Aberdeen Institute of Energy, part of the University of Aberdeen, will also be in attendance.
He said: “As a petroleum engineer I never thought I would be asked to be involved in medical research, but since arriving at the university I have learned that there are many exciting things that we can learn from medical and other disciplines.
“As an example of this, our academics are looking at how techniques used in medical laboratories can be harnessed for enhanced oil recovery.
“Professor Gill’s work in finding treatments for serious neurological conditions is highly innovative, and I’m very much looking forward to meeting with him and exploring how we can contribute to his research.”
Professor Gill said: “I had a chance conversation with a few oil and gas engineers while I was attending a charity fund-raising event in Aberdeen.
“It became apparent during the conversation that there were similarities between the technologies being used for the extraction of oil and gas and the system I’ve developed to infuse drugs directly to a patient’s brain.
“Their methods are more advanced than mine and are on a completely different scale, but the principles are the same and I’m hoping our discussions can be extremely helpful for any future treatment advances and development of the CED system.“