Precise targeting of biological molecules such as cancer cells is a challenge for cancer doctors due to the cells’ unique size. Scientists from Taiwan have now come up with a solution based on a particular combination of older techniques targeting thermal cancer therapy.
Pei-Chang Tsai, a researcher from the Institute of Atomic and Molecular Sciences at the Academia Sinica, Taipei, and his colleagues have published a revised technique for nanometer-scale heating and sensing the temperature in EPJ QT.
The authors have created a new biocompatible device by using a method of attaching gold nano-droids to the surface of diamond nanocrystal chemically. This device can deliver very localized heat from the near Infrared laser directed to the gold nano-droids, sensing the temperature correctly with the nanocrystals.
The author’s lab is specially designed for the fabrication of the bright fluorescent diamond nanocrystals. These nanocrystals particularly contain a large amount of punctual colour centre defects. On exposure to green light, these centres release a red fluorescent light that can be used in subcellular imaging applications. Other than the ordinary fluorescent material, these centres can transform into hypersensitive nanoprobes for the detection of temperature and magnetic field through optical detection and manipulation.
The authors have made possible the conversion of incoming laser light into a very localized light with the introduction of gold nanoparticles to the nanocrystal. Therefore, these nanoparticles behave as switchable nanometers used in the therapies depending on the delivery of severing heat to the cancer cells, with the use of the laser as the energy source. This study is based on a novel idea that by using diamond nanocrystals as very sensitive temperature sensors having a high spatial resolution from 10 to 100 nanometers for the monitoring of the amount of heat delivery the cancer cells.
Springer. “Gold-diamond nanodevice for hyperlocalized cancer therapy: Gold nanorods can be used as remote controlled nanoheaters delivering the right amount of thermal treatment to cancer cells, thanks to diamond nanocrystals used as temperature sensors.”, ScienceDaily, 31 July 2015.