Explore virtual tumours with UCL at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition

UCL scientists and engineers will bring cancerous tumours to life through games at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition from 1st July.

The team behind the platform REANIMATE (REAlistic Numerical Image-based Modelling of biologicAl Tissue substratEs) have combined advanced imaging techniques with mathematical modelling to gain a better understanding of drug delivery in complicated tumours. It enables scientists to run detailed computational experiments to study the transport of blood, biological fluids and drugs, and their complex interactions with tissue.

The UCL Institute of Healthcare Engineering stand, ‘The Mathematics of Cancer’, will include a virtual reality game enabling attendees to travel through and explore a tumour, an arcade-style game demonstrating the difficulty of drug delivery and a game that allows visitors to create virtual tumours using 3D printed tumour ‘slices’.
Visitors to the exhibit will be able to travel through the unique and irregular architecture of a virtual tumour and watch fluid and drug delivery simulations using VR technology. They will also get the chance to play an arcade-style game demonstrating the difficulty of drug delivery and create virtual tumours using 3D printed tumour ‘slices’.  
Research associate and project lead Dr Paul Sweeney (UCL Mechanical Engineering) said: “The REANIMATE framework has a vast potential impact in helping develop new cancer drugs and providing a cost-effective way to test their efficacy before going to human trials. 
“We are so excited by the opportunity to showcase at the Royal Society and to share our research with the diverse audiences that the exhibition attracts. Not only are we hoping that they leave with a greater understanding of and interest in the ways we are tackling cancer, but also that their questions shine fresh perspectives on our research and shape it moving forward.”
The exhibit will demonstrate how the structure of cancer tumours varies widely, making the delivery of therapeutic drugs and predicting their uptake and distribution difficult.
The team will also have 3D printed models of different tumours on show to demonstrate their complexity.
The Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition is a free, week-long festival from July 1st to the 7th, celebrating UK science, with 22 exhibits of hands-on science and technology. The festival will also feature a programme of talks, demonstrations and performances.
Cosmologist Carlos Frenk, Fellow of the Royal Society and chair of the public engagement committee, said: “Science isn't just an important part of the country's rich cultural and historical heritage, it is something that is alive and forms the foundations of our economic growth, our health and our prosperity.
“That's what makes visiting the exhibition so special, because the story of the Royal Society is the story of modern science. From the mind-blowing technology preparing us for life on the Moon to practical steps in fighting superbugs, there will be stories of incredible scientific achievement for everyone.”
Another UCL-led project, METABOLIGHT, which uses light to monitor brain health in babies, will also be exhibiting at the event.

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