Improved Nanosurgical Efficacy Through Plasmonic Laser Ablation

Life Sciences : Medical Devices

Available for licensing


  • Adela Ben-Yakar, Ph.D. , Mechanical Engineering
  • Daniel Eversole , Biomedical Engineering
  • Xun (Sam) Guo , Mechanical Engineering

Background/unmet need

There is widespread optimism that nanosurgery will allow the improved resection of diseased tissues with minimal invasiveness and lessened collateral damage to adjacent healthy tissues. Initial methodologies involve localization of nanoparticles (generally gold nanoshells) to diseased tissues and thermal laser treatment to selectively ablate associated tissues. However, thermal ablation leads to substantial collateral damage, including denatured self antigens, apoptosed cells, and localized inflammatory responses. Further, the present processes utilize invasive lasers using a slow scanning process to first find and then ablate tissues.

Invention Description

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a new process utilizing a two-laser system: the first allows rapid scanning to “see ” the accumulated nanoparticles (representing a range of nanometal structures) and the second, an ultra-short pulse laser, focuses only on areas with accumulated nanoparticles. The effect of the dual lasers is the generation of plasma that directly vaporizes the nanoparticles and associated tissues. This low-energy methodology does not rely on thermal heating and results in minimal collateral damage and increased efficacy.


  • Fewer adverse events
  • Greater refinement in treatment options
  • Increased efficacy
  • Minimal collateral damage
  • Improved prognosis

Development Stage

Lab/bench prototype

IP Status