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Proceedings Paper

Laser induced thermal explosion mode for selective nano-photothermolysis of cancer cells
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Paper Abstract

A new mechanism is proposed for selective laser killing of abnormal cells by laser thermal explosion of single nanoparticles - "nano-bombs" - delivered to the cells. Thermal explosion of the nanoparticles is realized when the heat generates within the strongly-absorbing target more rapidly than the heat can diffuse away. On the basis of simple energy balance, it is shown that the lower level of the threshold energy density of a single laser pulse required for thermal explosion of solid gold nanospehere is about 40 mJ/cm2, which is well below the safety standard for medical lasers (100 mJ/cm2) for healthy tissue and cells. The nanoparticle's explosion energy density can be reduced further (up to 11 mJ/cm2) by using gold nanorods due to higher plasmon-resonance absorption efficiency of nanorods. Additionally, the nanorods optical resonance lies in the near-IR region, where biological tissue transmissivity is the highest. Here, the effective therapeutic effect for cancer cell killing can be achieved due to nonlinear phenomena, which accompany the thermal explosion of the nanoparticles: generation of the strong shock wave with supersonic expansion of dense vapor in the cell volume, producing sound waves and optical plasma.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 February 2007
PDF: 5 pages
Proc. SPIE 6436, Complex Dynamics and Fluctuations in Biomedical Photonics IV, 64360I (7 February 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.704979
Show Author Affiliations
Renat R. Letfullin, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (United States)
Vladimir P. Zharov, Univ. of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (United States)
Charles Joenathan, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (United States)
Thomas F. George, Univ. of Missouri/St. Louis (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6436:
Complex Dynamics and Fluctuations in Biomedical Photonics IV
Valery V. Tuchin, Editor(s)

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