Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Nanotechnology Cancer Treatment

PostedJanuary 14, 2007

Download File (mp3)

Randy Atkins:  You’d be injected with tiny silica spheres coated with a precise amount of gold.  They collect around tumors.

Naomi Halas:  If you could see them, they would look a little bit like malted milk balls.

Randy Atkins:  Naomi Halas, a Rice University engineer, says direct a beam of certain light waves…and it passes through tissue, but not the spheres.

Naomi Halas:  They work by capturing light, converting light to heat, and locally heating their surroundings.

Randy Atkins:  She says that will cause cancer cell death, but leave normal cells unscathed.

Naomi Halas:  The basic principles are physical — heat and light work the same way in any animal system.

Randy Atkins:  So Halas is confident successful animal studies will translate to people.  With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP Radio.