Graduate student Geoffrey von Maltzahn has been using gold nanoparticles to develop new methods to fight cancer. One takes advantage of the porous blood vessels that tumors put out to get gold rod-shaped nanoparticles into tumors. Once there, von Maltzahn shines a near-infrared laser on the patient's skin, above the tumor, to heat up the gold and destroy the malignant tissue. Another method developed by von Maltzahn uses two injections of nanoparticles, the first to attach to tumors and the second wave, covered with anti-cancer agents, to destroy the tumors. Because of this work, von Maltzahn is the winner of this year's Lemelson–MIT Student Prize, reports Scientific American.
Going for the Gold
Mar 05, 2009