Using Lasers and Solar Cells to Fight Cancer

By Tim Barribeau — io9 | October 20, 2010 7:01 pm

them some small solar cellsBy bringing the field of photovoltaics into medicine, researchers hope to create a far more precise method of drug delivery for fighting cancer. That’s right: this cancer cure involves tiny photovoltaic particles like the kind used in solar cells.

One of the major drawbacks of chemotherapy is that it damages far more of the body than just the malignant tumors it’s used to fight. In order to target just the cancerous areas, and not hit everything on the way there, researchers from the University of Texas in El Paso created a tiny solar cell. They attached model drugs to each side of the cell, one of which was positively charged, the other negatively. Once the tiny solar devices are in the body, doctors would blast the tumor with an infrared laser, causing the pholtovoltaic particles to release the drugs.

This would mean the medication would only be released at a specific location, and could be used to deliver the medical payload extremely specifically, and altering the intensity of light would control how much of the drug would be released.

At present, this work is just a proof of concept, and has a significant amount of work to go. We reported on a similar technique in November using fuzzy nanocubes.

Image of tiny photovoltaic flakes by Murat Okandan

io9logoThis post originally appeared on io9.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Electronics, Energy, Medicine
MORE ABOUT: cancer, lasers, solar cells

Comments (6)

  1. Brian Too

    Haven’t phototherapeutics been available for a while? Admittedly this is a novel mechanism for implementation.

  2. I loved your article and the ideas provided. There are plenty of opinions out there that are both savvy and bad. If you know of any more suggestions concerning natural health or related topics, that would be most appreciated. Keep up the great writing!

  3. Whats up, I often read your blog.I love it, you speak about anything from sport, news, entertainment, adult topics or simply general topics. Cultivate the good work. Have you ever dreamed about blogging for money?

  4. Nice writeup on the subject , I had been seeking to see why matter further and discovered this information to get informative

  5. Do check how much you could save my installing solar by getting a quote from a reputable firm.

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