Measuring the temperature of nanoparticles

Nov 30, 2010

One of the holy grails of nanotechnology in medicine is to control individual structures and processes inside a cell. Nanoparticles are well suited for this purpose because of their small size; they can also be engineered for specific intracellular tasks. When nanoparticles are excited by radio-frequency (RF) electromagnetic fields, interesting effects may occur. For example, the cell nucleus could get damaged inducing cell death; DNA might melt; or protein aggregates might get dispersed.

Some of these effects may be due to the localized heating produced by each tiny nanoparticle. Yet, such local heating, which could mean a difference of a few degrees Celsius across a few molecules, cannot be explained easily by heat-transfer theories. However, the existence of local heating cannot be dismissed either, because it's difficult to measure the near these tiny sources.

Scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed a new technique for probing the temperature rise in the vicinity of RF-actuated nanoparticles using fluorescent as temperature sensors. The results are published in the Journal of Applied Physics.

Amit Gupta and colleagues found that when the nanoparticles were excited by an RF field the measured temperature rise was the same regardless of whether the sensors were simply mixed with the nanoparticles or covalently bonded to them. "This proximity measurement is important because it shows us the limitations of RF heating, at least for the frequencies investigated in this study," says project leader Diana Borca-Tasciuc. "The ability to measure the local temperature advances our understanding of these nanoparticle-mediated processes."

Explore further: Tough foam from tiny sheets

More information: The article, "Local Temperature Measurement in the Vicinity of Electromagnetically Heated Magnetite and Gold Nanoparticles" by Amit Gupta, Ravi Kane and Diana-Andra Borca-Tasciuc appears in the Journal of Applied Physics. See:

Provided by American Institute of Physics

1 /5 (1 vote)

Related Stories

Nanoparticle thermotherapy as a chemotherapy alternative

Nov 23, 2010

Using hyperthermia, Virginia Tech engineering researchers and a colleague from India unveiled a new method to target and destroy cancerous cells. The research was presented at the 63rd annual meeting of the American Physical ...

The dance of hot nanoparticles

Sep 08, 2010

( -- "Brownian motion is a very old concept," Klaus Kroy tells "The laws explaining it were formulated more than a century ago by Albert Einstein. However, we are finding some intere ...

Nanoparticles trigger cell death?

Nov 13, 2008

Nanoparticles that are one milliard of a metre in size are widely used, for example, in cosmetics and food packaging materials. There are also significant amounts of nanoparticles in exhaust emissions. However, very little ...

Recommended for you

Tough foam from tiny sheets

18 hours ago

Tough, ultralight foam of atom-thick sheets can be made to any size and shape through a chemical process invented at Rice University.

Graphene surfaces on photonic racetracks

Jul 28, 2014

In an article published in Optics Express, scientists from The University of Manchester describe how graphene can be wrapped around a silicon wire, or waveguide, and modify the transmission of light through it.

Simulating the invisible

Jul 28, 2014

Panagiotis Grammatikopoulos in the OIST Nanoparticles by Design Unit simulates the interactions of particles that are too small to see, and too complicated to visualize. In order to study the particles' behavior, he uses ...

Building 'invisible' materials with light

Jul 28, 2014

A new method of building materials using light, developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge, could one day enable technologies that are often considered the realm of science fiction, such as invisibility ...

User comments : 0