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NUS chemists have found that gold nanoparticle clusters can be used in photo-thermal therapy for imaging and treatment of human prostate cancer.
Photo-thermal therapy is a new treatment method for cancer patients that is minimally invasive and can be targeted at a specific region in the body. It uses a photo-thermal agent to absorb and convert light radiation energy into heat to kill the cancer cells. Gold nanoparticles are excellent photo-thermal agents due to their unique physicochemical properties and high photon-to-heat conversion efficiencies (>99%). However, they have poor light absorption at the near-infrared (NIR) region where tissue transmissivity is optimal. Therefore, a stronger NIR light source has to be used, which could cause unintended collateral damage to surrounding areas.
Collaboration - Prof - Matthew - LANG - Vanderbilt
In collaboration with Prof Matthew LANG from Vanderbilt University, the research team led by Prof XU Qing-Hua from the Department of Chemistry, NUS found that gold nanospheres (70 nm in diameter) display enhanced absorption and photo-thermal responses in the NIR region when they aggregate to form clusters. Discrete gold nanospheres are known to be poor near-infrared light absorbers but their absorption ability can be increased...
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