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New imaging technique aids photothermal therapies

The date of: 2021-11-25
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With the potential to enhance photothermal therapy, real-time, more accurate temperature detection could help doctors and clinicians diagnose skin cancers earlier and treat them quicker and ideally more effectively.
Researchers at the Quebec (Canada)-based Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS) have developed single-shot photoluminescence lifetime imaging thermometry (SPLIT), which can easily measure temperature in 2D, and with no contact.
The new imaging technique is based on the luminescence of nanoparticles doped with rare-earth ions. According to researcher Fiorenzo Vetrone, a professor at INRS, the nanoparticles are considered nanothermometers, as “their luminescent properties change with the temperature of the environment;” they are biocompatible as well.
SPLIT has the potential to detect skin cancers such as melanoma, in particular, more quickly. The researchers note that existing imaging techniques are invasive, they produce lower-resolution images, and are less accurate, all of which “leads to a large number of unnecessary biopsies” and other related procedures. The new technology could also be used to monitor and better control aspects of treatment such as light doses.

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