Use of gold nanoshells to constrain and enhance laser thermal therapy of metastatic liver tumours

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Purpose: To investigate the impact of intravenously injected gold nanoparticles on interstitially delivered laser induced thermal therapy (LITT) in the liver. Methods: 3D finite element modelling, ex vivo canine liver tissue containing gold nanoparticles absorbing at 800 nm, and agar gel phantoms were used to simulate the presence of nanoparticles in the liver during LITT. Real-time magnetic resonance temperature imaging (MRTI) based on the temperature sensitivity of the proton resonance frequency shift (PRFS) was used to map the spatiotemporal distribution of heating in the experiments and validate the predictions of 3D finite element simulations of heating. Results: Experimental results show good agreement with both the simulation and the ex vivo experiments. Average discrepancy between simulation and experiment was shown to be 1.6°C or less with the maximum difference being 3.8°C due to a small offset in laser positioning. Conclusion: A high nanoshell concentration in the surrounding liver parenchyma, such as that which would be expected from an intravenous injection of gold nanoshells (∼120 nm) acts as both a beam stop for the laser and secondary heat source for the treatment, helping to better heat the lesions and confine the treatment to the lesion. This indicates a potential to use nanoparticles to enhance both the safety and efficacy of LITT procedures in the liver.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)434-440
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Hyperthermia
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 2010


  • Nanoshell, liver metastases, finite element

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology (medical)
  • Physiology
  • Cancer Research


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