Optical and nano-technology's impact on cancer treatment subject of guest lecture

Rapid advances in the fields of optical and nano-technology are leading to incredible new medical devices that can quickly diagnose cancer, deliver treatments for the disease and even monitor the effectiveness of those therapies, according to a guest lecturer who will speak here tomorrow.

“We’re talking about a whole platform of technologies that will have an impact right across the spectrum,” said Brian Wilson, a professor, in medical biophysics in the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine.

Optical-guided tumor surgery, endoscopic tumor detection and imaging using biomarker-targeted plasmonic nanoparticles are just a few of the advances that have been made as a result of a convergence between the study of photonics and nano-technology, Dr. Wilson said.

“There is a range of scientific and technological advances that have really accelerated over the last five or 10 years, and they’ll have significant impact in medical clinics and hospitals,” said Wilson, who is also senior scientist and head of the biophysics and imaging division at the Ontario Cancer Institute, in Toronto’s University Health Network.

In order to make those technologies work in clinical environments, there must be linkages to industry with deep collaboration between physicists, chemists, materials and computer scientists, optical engineers, cancer biologists and clinical specialists, Wilson added.

Wilson will deliver his lecture - the first in series of interdisciplinary lectures organized by the Physics department - called Opto-Nano Technologies for Personalized Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis on April 9, at 1 p.m. in Room 122 of the Biology Building. All are welcome.

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