The following research projects have been supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, Coulter Foundation, American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas, National Science Foundation, and the Oak Ridge Associated Universities.
This project focuses on the development of molecular imaging technologies for the screening, diagnosis, and therapy of cancer. Recent advances in nanotechnologies have produced a class of optically active metal particles with highly desirable molecular and optical properties suitable for combining both detection and treatment.
Mortality throughout the world due to cutaneous melanoma has been increasing over the past two decades, accounting for 3% of deaths caused by cancer. Because survival rates increase substantially when diagnosed at an early stage, successful treatment of melanoma depends on early detection.
This project seeks to develop nanoshells as combined luminescence imaging and photothermal therapy agents of tumors. Gold nanoshells (dielectric silica core/gold shell) are a novel class of hybrid metal nanoparticles whose unique optical properties have spawned new applications including more sensitive molecular assays and cancer therapy.