Generally, chemists use chemotherapy and radiation therapy for diagnosing tumors. Researchers from worldwide are trying to advance current treatments to diagnose tumors. Similarly, a biomedical researcher’s team from the University of Toronto has recently developed a ‘Smart nanoparticle’ for diagnosing tumors. This ‘Smart nanoparticle’ is natural, biodegradable, and uses heat and light to target and vaporize tumors.
This ‘Smart nanoparticle’ is known as PEARLs: Photo-thermal Enhancing Auto-Regulating Liposomes. By using phantom models, it overcomes two obstacles currently preventing the most effective use of photo-thermal therapy with patients. The first obstacle is overheating of tissue during diagnosing that may lead to collateral damage. The second obstacle is the inability to vaporize larger tumor volumes because the light stops traveling when it is absorbed.
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This smart nanoparticle is so cool. It can absorb light, produce heat and vaporize tumors. It acts as a temperature sensor. When it reaches a specific temperature of 55 degrees Celsius, it becomes invisible. After that, it allows the light to move deeper into more areas of the tumor and repeat the treatment process.
Dr. Gang Zheng, the Senior Scientist at Princess Margaret and Professor of Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto, explained, “The result is a promising new way to heat and vaporize larger volumes of the tumor with minimal damage to surrounding tissues in a controlled and precise way. The next step is to conduct pre-clinical studies to test the concept further.”
By controlling light, heat, and sound, Dr. Zheng focused on accelerating nanoparticle technology for advanced tumor imaging and targeted treatment.