A step further is the use of the gold particles in actual treatment of cancer. For new in vitro and preclinical tests, the scientists have received funding from the Dutch research programme IOP Photonic Devices.
Gold nanoparticles have highly interesting properties: they can be heated rapidly whenever infrared light of the right wavelength touches them. By attaching antibodies to the nanorods, which can recognize a specific cancer cell, this heating phenomenon can be used in cancer detection. Heating of the gold results in a varying pressure near the particle. This pressure change, in turn is expressed in the generation of ultrasound. In this way, light from a laser eventually results in sound. This acoustic signal gives valuable information about the presence of cancer cells.
The scientists led by prof. Ton van Leeuwen of the Biophysical Engineering Group expect better results than currently possible with imaging techniques. X-Ray and MRI, for example, both have insufficient contrast to discern cancer cells from healthy tissue in the very beginning of the disease.
The phenomenon resulting in rapid heating of the gold particles, is called plasmon resonance: the shape of the particles determines the wavelength at which this happens. The temperature rise can be up to 100 degrees. For the scientists this is an indication for possible use in cancer treatment. Photothermal therapy would use the heated gold to destroy the tumor. Another option would be to include gold particles in capsules filled with cancer medication: the capsule attaches to the cancer cell, is heated and the medicine is released locally.
Both diagnostic and therapeutic applications will be investigated by the UT scientists together with colleagues from the Erasmus MC in Rotterdam and two companies: Esoate Europe and Luminostix. The project is financed from the innovation oriented programme IOP Photonic Devices of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs. Dr. Srirang Manohar from the Biophysical Engineering group already received a VENI grant for his initial research on the applications of gold nanoparticles, and there’s also been related research within the Non Invasive Molecular Tumor Imaging and Killing (NIMTIK) focus project of the BMTI Institute.
Wiebe van der Veen | alfa
Visualizing gene expression with MRI
23.12.2016 | California Institute of Technology
Illuminating cancer: Researchers invent a pH threshold sensor to improve cancer surgery
21.12.2016 | UT Southwestern Medical Center
For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.
According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
23.01.2017 | Health and Medicine
23.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.01.2017 | Process Engineering