Photothermal treatment (PTT) using gold nanoshells (gold-NSs) is accepted as a method for treating cancer. However, owing to restrictions in therapeutic depth and skin damage caused by excessive light exposure, its application has been limited to lesions close to the epidermis. Here, we demonstrate an in vivo PTT method that uses gold-NSs with a flexible optical fiber-needle array (OFNA), which is an array of multiple needles in which multimode optical fibers are inserted, one in each, for light delivery. The light for PTT was directly administrated to subcutaneous tissues through the OFNA, causing negligible thermal damage to the skin. Enhancement of light energy delivery assisted by the OFNA in a target area was confirmed by investigation using artificial tissues. The ability of OFNA to treat cancer without causing cutaneous thermal damage was also verified by hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining and optical coherence tomography in cancer models in mice. In addition, the OFNA allowed for observation of the target site through an imaging fiber bundle. By imaging the activation of the injected gold-NSs, we were able to obtain information on the PTT process in real-time.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics