Thursday, February 12, 2015

Nanolaser cancer therapy - A new spaser powered phothermal cell destruction method

Encircling tumors with a phalanx of miniature nanolaser could offer a new way to battle cancer,we propose as a new method of cancer treatment. Technically, the proposed device isn’t really a laser at all, but a spaser, with surface plasmons rather than light undergoing amplification.

Earlier last year, we proposed a different design, using graphene and carbon nanotubes. In this setup, a carbon nanotube would absorb the energy from a separate laser source and transfer it to the surface plasmons of a nearby nanoflake of graphene, creating the spaser effect. Pumping the spaser with 1200-nanometer light would cause it to output light at 1700 nm.  

The nanotubes and graphene flakes could have antibodies or ligands attached to them that would draw them to the tumor. Once at the tumor, they’d self-assemble into a cluster of spasers.“You surround cancer cells with very tiny lasers, instead of nanoparticles,”

An external laser producing light between 1000 and 1350 nm could penetrate several centimeters of human tissue and act as a power source for the spaser cluster. The spasers would then deliver a concentrated blast of heat to the cancer cells. At the same time, the nanotubes could be designed to carry drugs to their target, hitting the tumor with a one-two punch.

Discovery article ,  IEEE spectrum article

Graphene- carbon nanotube spaser nanolaser introduced

We have been able to design the world's first 'spaser' - a nanoscale laser - made out of graphene and carbon. A spaser (surface plasmon amplication by stimulated emission of radiation) is effectively a nanoscale laser, or a nanonlaser. It has been touted as the future of optical computers and technologies. It could enable ‘nanophotonic’ circuitry, extremely small circuits far tinier than anything available today. This could usher in many technological advances including microchips hundred times more powerful than anything we have today.

'Our device would be comprised of a graphene resonator and a carbon nanotube gain element.'

'The use of carbon means our spaser would be more robust and flexible, would operate at high temperatures, and be eco-friendly'

See article for more information