Nanoshells for integrated diagnosis and therapy of cancer

Alex W.H. Lin, Christopher H. Loo, Leon R. Hirsch, Jennifer K. Barton, Min Ho Lee, Naomi J. Halas, Jennifer L. West, Rebekah A. Drezek

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Metal nanoshells are a novel type of composite nanoparticle consisting of a dielectric core covered by a thin metallic shell which is typically gold. Nanoshells possess highly favorable optical and chemical properties for biomedical imaging and therapeutic applications. By varying the relative the dimensions of the core and the shell, the optical resonance of these nanoparticles can be precisely and systematically varied over a broad wavelength region ranging from the near-UV to the mid-infrared. This range includes the near-infrared (NIR) region where tissue transmissivity peaks. In addition, nanoshells offer other advantages over conventional organic dye imaging agents, including improved optical properties and reduced susceptibility to chemical/thermal denaturation. Furthermore, the same conjugation protocols used to bind biomolecules to gold colloid are easily modified for nanoshells. We first review the synthesis of gold nanoshells and illustrate how the core/shell ratio and overall size of a nanoshell influences its scattering and absorption properties. We then describe several examples of nanoshell-based diagnostic and therapeutic approaches including the development of nanoshell bioconjugates for molecular imaging, the use of scattering nanoshells as contrast agents for optical coherence tomography (OCT), and the use of absorbing nanoshells in NIR thermal therapy of tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number51
Pages (from-to)308-316
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2004
EventNanosensing Materials and Devices - Philadelphia, PA, United States
Duration: Oct 25 2004Oct 28 2004


  • Cancer
  • Contrast agents
  • Molecular imaging
  • Nanoparticles
  • Nanoshells
  • Nanotechnology
  • Optical Coherence Tomography
  • Photothermal therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Nanoshells for integrated diagnosis and therapy of cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this