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March 14th, 2010
Nanoparticle detonations may be able to burn vascular plaques
A group of researchers from Russia and the Netherlands is developing techniques for delivering silica-gold nanoparticles, 80 nm in radius, to atherosclerotic coronary plaques. When exposed to near-infrared laser, the particles "detonate" and heat up to 50°C to 150°C, while surrounding tissue stays below 40°C.
"Our skin is transparent for infrared light, and it means that we can focus on a narrow spot, and when this radiation goes to the nanoparticles, it's like a detonation—like a small balloon—it burns like plasma," Dr Alexandr Kharlamov (Urals State Medical Academy, Ekaterinburg, Russia) explained in a conversation with heartwire.
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