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Research Abstracts Online
January 2010 - March 2011

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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
College of Science and Engineering
Department of Mechanical Engineering

PI: John C. Bischof

Multi-Scale Modeling of Nanoparticle Heating for Cancer Photothermal Treatment

The use of nanoparticles greatly enhances the selectivity and efficacy of photothermal cancer treatment. This study involves a multiscale study of nanoparticle heating: single/multiple nanoparticle at microscale and tissue heating at macroscale. The researchers plan to study the heating of nanoparticles at different levels and scales to achieve better understanding and offer better treatment protocols for cancer photothermal therapy. The specific aims are:
• Perform calculations on absorption and scattering properties for new designs of NPs (plasmonic/magnetic) using Mie theory.
• Assess the ability of nanoparticles to heat and kill a cancer cell, and the ability to reversibly porate the cell membrane thermally. This will define the regime of laser and nanoparticle parameters to achieve the above processes, which are important for cancer treatment and drug delivery.
• Study the effect of microscopic nanoparticle aggregation on the macroscopic heating, since nanoparticles are not homogeneously distributed and tend to aggregate in the cells and tissues. There has been theoretical studies at microscopic level by assuming the number of nanoparticles in a aggregate, but was not used to estimate the change in the macroscopic tissue heating by taking the realistic statistical aggregation data from experiment.
• Use Monte Carlo simulation and FEM to plan and optimize the cancer treatment. Since the presence of nanoparticles increases the absorption, the penetration of laser energy will be reduced. As a result, the potential need to use multiple laser fiber probes to treat large tumors should be addressed and the strategy of applying laser energy should be studied.

Group Member

Zhenpeng Qin, Graduate Student