Gold nanoshell thermal confinement of conformal laser thermal therapy in liver metastasis

Andrew M. Elliott, James Wang, Anil M. Shetty, Jon Schwartz, John D. Hazle, R. Jason Stafford

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


Cooled fiber tip technology has significantly improved the volume coverage of laser induced thermal therapy (LITT), making LITT an attractive technology for the minimally invasive treatment of cancer. Gold coated nanoshells can be tuned to experience a plasmon resonance at a desired laser frequency, there introduction into the treatment region can greatly amplify the effectiveness of the thermal treatment. The goal is to conformaly heat the target, while sparing surrounding healthy tissue. To this end a treatment option that is self-confining to the target lesion is highly desirable. This can be achieved in the liver by allowing nanoshells to be taken up by the healthy tissue of the liver as part of their natural removal from the blood stream. The lesion is then incased inside the nanoshell laden tissue of the surrounding healthy tissue. When an interstitial laser probe is introduced into the center of the lesion the thermal radiation scatters outward until it interacts with and is absorbed by the nanoshells located around the lesion periphery. As the periphery heats it acts as secondary source of thermal radiation, sending heat back into lesion and giving rise to ablative temperatures within the lesion while sparing the surrounding tissue. In order to better monitor therapy and know when the target volume has been ablated, or exceeded, accurate knowledge is needed of both the spatial distribution of heating and the maximum temperature achieved. Magnetic resonance temperature imaging (MRTI) is capable of monitoring the spatiotemporal distribution of temperature in vivo[1]. Experiments have been performed in vitro using a dog liver containing nanoshells (concentration 860ppm) and a tissue like lesion phantom designed to have the optical properties of liver metastasis [2].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNanoscale Imaging, Sensing, and Actuation for Biomedical Applications V
StatePublished - 2008
EventNanoscale Imaging, Sensing, and Actuation for Biomedical Applications V - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 21 2008Jan 23 2008

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


ConferenceNanoscale Imaging, Sensing, and Actuation for Biomedical Applications V
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose, CA


  • Finite element
  • LITT
  • Liver cancer
  • Nanoshells
  • Thermal response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomaterials
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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