Improved Nanosurgical Efficacy Through Plasmonic Laser Ablation
Background There is widespread optimism that nanosurgery will allow the improved resection of diseased tissues with minimal invasiveness and lessened collateral damage to adjacent healthy tissues. Initial methodologies involve localization of nanoparticles (generally gold nanoshells) to diseased tissues and thermal laser treatment to selectively ablate associated tissues. However, thermal ablation leads to substantial collateral damage, including denatured self antigens, apoptosed cells, and localized inflammatory responses. Further, the present processes utilize invasive lasers using a slow scanning process to first find and then ablate tissues.
Invention Description Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a new process utilizing a two-laser system: the first allows rapid scanning to "see" the accumulated nanoparticles (representing a range of nanometal structures) and the second, an ultra-short pulse laser, focuses only on areas with accumulated nanoparticles. The effect of the dual lasers is the generation of plasma that directly vaporizes the nanoparticles and associated tissues. This low-energy methodology does not rely on thermal heating and results in minimal collateral damage and increased efficacy.
Fewer adverse events Greater refinement in treatment options Increased efficacy Minimal collateral damage Improved prognosis
Development Stage Lab/bench prototype
IP Status One U.S. patent application filed
UT Researcher Adela Ben-Yakar, Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin Daniel Eversole, Biomedical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin
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