Cancer Can’t Stand the Heat: Carleton Research Team Receives Editor’s Pick

Research conducted at the Carleton Optical Innovation Laboratory (COIL) by PhD student Sondos Alqarni has been selected as an editor’s pick in the recent issue of Applied Optics.  Sondos developed a novel optical fiber device that could be used to destroy cancer cells through a process called hyperthermia.  Hyperthermia involves heating cancer cells to temperatures greater than 40 , causing them to die.  Sondos’s device incorporated a tilted fiber Bragg grating (TFBG) that reflected laser light out of the core of optical fiber to the surface. When the fiber surface surrounding the TFBG is coated with an absorbing material such as a dye or metal the light coupled out of the core heats the coating and the surrounding environment.  One big advantage of using the TFBG is that it simultaneously monitors the local temperature, allowing Sondos to target cancer cells while avoiding impacting the surrounding healthy tissue.  Sondos was able to successfully demonstrate a precise control of the temperature at the fiber surface and used her device to selectively kill real cancer cells. 


Sondos successfully defended her PhD and is now an assistant professor at King Khalid University in Saudi Arabia.  Sondos conducted her work under the supervision of Christopher Smelser (Department of Electronics principal investigator at COIL) in collaboration with Jacques Albert (Electronics) and William Willmore (Department of Biology).

Cancer Cell


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