Laser irradiation of tumors has new and efficient materials

The laser light illuminates the tumor, and light energy is converted into heat energy, which ablate the cancer cells. Yesterday at the Shanghai World Expo Center held a national report on polymer academic papers and exhibition news: The photothermal conversion reagents required for this photothermal therapy technology, with new high-efficiency materials, become the star material in the medical polymer field.

Nowadays, the treatment of malignant tumors, such as surgical resection, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy, has large toxic and side effects. The photothermal therapy technology is a novel minimally invasive therapy that converts laser light energy focused on the tumor site into a light and heat conversion reagent. Heat energy, which kills tumor cells. However, an important prerequisite for this technology is the development of highly efficient and biocompatible photothermal conversion reagents.

Currently, photothermal materials are mainly organic polymers, precious metals, carbon nanotubes, and the like. Prof. Hu Junqing and Prof. Chen Zhigang of Donghua University's School of Materials Research team have studied and synthesized a series of polymer-encapsulated photothermal conversion materials based on copper sulfide and tungsten oxide, which have excellent biocompatibility and near-infrared conversion efficiency. It is reported that this series of materials has been successfully applied to cancer cell ablation treatment experiments for rats and is expected to bring about good news for cancer patients in the near future.

The exhibition attracted 12 academicians and more than 80 winners of the National Outstanding Youth Fund. In the history of the 60th Annual Conference, the a€?Medical Polymera€? branch was opened for the first time. According to experts, it is expected that by 2015, the demand for medical polymer materials, bioceramics, and medical metals will increase dramatically. For example, 500,000 sets of artificial joints, 1.2 million vascular stents, and 1 million intraocular lenses will be required each year. (Reporter Xu Ruizhe)

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