NIR light-activated nanoparticles can precisely target and treat tumors

A team of researchers at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and the University of Toronto (both in Toronto, ON, Canada) have discovered organic, biodegradable nanoparticles that use heat and near-infrared (NIR) light in a controlled manner to potentially target and ablate tumors with greater precision.

Related: Plasmonic nanoparticles heat up upon NIR light exposure for cancer treatments

The proof-of-concept findings provide a viable approach to boosting the clinical utility of photothermal therapy in treating cancer, says Dr. Gang Zheng, senior scientist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and a professor of medical biophysics at the University of Toronto. Dr. Zheng also holds the Joey and Toby Tanenbaum/Brazilian Ball Chair in prostate cancer research.

In a study using phantom models, the researchers showed that the nanoparticles—called photo-thermal enhancing auto-regulating liposomes (PEARLs)—can solve the two bottlenecks currently preventing more effective use of photothermal therapy with patients. These are overheating of tissue that can cause collateral damage during treatment, and the inability to ablate larger tumor volumes because the light stops traveling when it is absorbed.

Zheng explains that the PEARL nanoparticle can absorb NIR light, generate heat, and ablate a tumor. Once it reaches the desired ablation temperature of 55°C, it becomes invisible—allowing the light to move deeper into more areas of tumor and repeat the treatment process, with minimal damage to surrounding tissues.

The next step, Zheng says, is to conduct preclinical studies.

Full details of the work appear in the journal Angewandte Chemie; for more information, please visit

Get All the BioOptics World News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to BioOptics World Magazine or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now
Related Articles

'Lab on a stick' test optically and rapidly detects antibiotic resistance

A point-of-care test, based on the dipstick method, can rapidly detect bacterial resistance to antibiotics in urine.

Shortwave-infrared device could improve ear infection diagnosis

An otoscope-like device that could improve ear infection diagnosis uses shortwave-infrared light instead of visible light.

Microscope detects one million-plus biomarkers for sepsis in 30 minutes

A microscope has the potential to simultaneously detect more than one million biomarkers for sepsis at the point of care.

Photoacoustic imaging quantifies elasticity

Biomedical engineers in the US have developed a form of photoacoustic imaging that can quantify the elasticity of human tissue.

Neuro15 exhibitors meet exacting demands: Part 2

Increasingly, neuroscientists are working with researchers in disciplines such as chemistry and p...

Why be free?

A successful career contributed to keeping OpticalRayTracer—an optical design software program—fr...

LASER Munich 2015 is bio-bent

LASER World of Photonics 2015 included the European Conferences on Biomedical Optics among its si...

White Papers

Understanding Optical Filters

Optical filters can be used to attenuate or enhance an image, transmit or reflect specific wavele...

How can I find the right digital camera for my microscopy application?

Nowadays, image processing is found in a wide range of optical microscopy applications. Examples ...



Twitter- BioOptics World

Copyright © 2007-2016. PennWell Corporation, Tulsa, OK. All Rights Reserved.PRIVACY POLICY | TERMS AND CONDITIONS