Depth of photothermal conversion of gold nanorods embedded in a tissue-like phantom

Candice L. Didychuk, Pinhas Ephrat, Astrid Chamson-Reig, Steven L. Jacques, Jeffrey J.L. Carson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Gold nanorod (AuNR)-assisted photothermal therapy has emerged as a viable method for selective killing of cancer cells and shows promise for tumor destruction in vivo. This study examined the distribution of AuNR conversion expected to occur during photothermal therapy in vivo. Tissue-like phantoms were prepared with polyethylene glycol AuNRs distributed homogeneously at a concentration representative of a systemic injection. Phantoms were illuminated with a nanosecond pulsed laser (800 nm) at a variety of combinations of pulse energy (12-120 mJ) and pulse count (1-1000). Operating at the American National Standards Institute safety limit for human skin exposure (30 mJ cm -2), a diameter of 13 mm and a depth of 7.6 mm of AuNR conversion were observed in the gel phantoms after 1000 laser pulses (100 s exposure). Significant AuNR conversion was measured to a depth of 6 mm after only 100 pulses. Comparison of the measured AuNR conversion distribution with Monte Carlo simulation suggested that the fluence threshold for AuNR conversion estimated from phantom measurements was in the range of 20-43 mJ cm-2. The results suggest that AuNR-assisted photothermal therapy will be effective for tumors within 10 mm of the illuminated tissue surface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number195102
Issue number19
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Depth of photothermal conversion of gold nanorods embedded in a tissue-like phantom'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this