Mathematical models for treatment of tumours

With a mobility grant from the Foundation for Strategic Research, SSF, Tobias Gebäck, senior researcher at Mathematical Sciences, will work part-time for two years at AstraZeneca. If the project goes as planned, it will have a major impact on the development of new nanoparticle-based formulations, mainly for the treatment of tumours.
Nanosized particles containing drug molecules can be administered intravenously to increase the drug load of injectable formulations when the drug solubility is limiting, or to alter the distribution and drug release to avoid toxicity or improve the duration of pharmacological actions. As such, these novel complex formulations are mainly used in the field of oncology.

To facilitate the design and development of such nanoparticle formulations, physiologically based biopharmaceutics models (PBBM) could be used to simulate the drug performance in vivo. While such models have been used for other formulations, a PBBM including nanoparticle transport would be a novel development. Furthermore, basing the model on first principles would enable validation of parts of the model in vitro and make the model translatable between species.

The project Mechanistic modelling of nanoparticle formulations provides funding for senior researcher Tobias Gebäck, Mathematical sciences, to spend two years, half time, at AstraZeneca developing and implementing such models. The project would have a major impact on the development of novel nanosized formulations, in particular for tumour treatment. It would reduce the extent of animal testing required and enable exploratory research of innovative solutions that cannot be studied in vivo.
The main deliverable is a PBBM of the body, including mechanistic models of nanoparticle transport, drug release from nanoparticles and a solid tumour model, together with suitable numerical tools.

Tobias Gebäck– The opportunity to work on site at AstraZeneca will give me a deeper insight into the use of mathematical modeling in the pharmaceutical industry today, and what challenges they face. I also hope to be able to contribute very concretely with developing models that can be used directly in the development of new drug formulations that provide new treatment options for serious diseases, says Tobias Gebäck.​


Tobias Gebäck, senior researcher, division for Applied Mathematics and Statistics, Mathematical Sciences.


The project Mechanistic modelling of nanoparticle formulations is funded by the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research, with a total of SEK 1 060 000 during two years.

Page manager Published: Tue 01 Mar 2022.