Date/Time: 04-23-2019 - Tuesday - 05:00 PM - 07:00 PM
Andrew Kelliher1 Mallory DeCoster1 Patrick Hopkins1

1, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, United States

Plasmonic nanostructures generate heat via the photothermal effect when excited with a specific wavelength of light, where optically excited surface plasmons decay to produce hot electrons that subsequently couple to the lattice vibrations. Photothermal cancer therapy shows promise as an application using this effect, where local hyperthermia leads to cell death. However, noble metal nanoparticles traditionally used in plasmonic applications exhibit surface plasmon resonance in the lower-wavelength visible range, where human tissue is not transparent. As a result, recent research efforts have pushed new plasmonic nanostructures and materials into the near- and mid-infrared ranges by using anisotropic geometries. Gold nanorods are extensively used due to their wavelength tunability of the plasmon resonance and their ability to be modified and functionalized for specific binding, enhanced detection, and drug delivery. The thermal transport of this system at the cellular level is not heavily studied, therefore we experimentally measure the thermal transport in a system of cancer cells infiltrated with gold nanorods in vitro at various concentrations, to understand the minimum illumination intensities and durations required for cancer cell death. We report, for the first time, the interfacial thermal conductance between gold nanorods and the ovarian cancer cellular environment as measured by ultrafast pump-probe laser techniques. We also report the thermal conductivity and heat capacity of the cancer cells. By understanding the thermal properties of this system, more defined and tailored photothermal therapy regimens are made possible. This study also provides an experimental framework for measuring the thermal properties of other photothermal therapy agents in cellular environments in the future.

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