Nanospectra Biosciences, Inc. is developing a therapeutic medical device which incorporates a new class of microparticles to selectively destroy solid tumors. These AuroShell™ microparticles (also known as nanoshells) are delivered systemically and then activated by a near-infrared laser, resulting in the thermal destruction of the tumor and the blood vessels supplying them without significant damage to healthy tissue.
AuroShell™ microparticles were developed at Rice University in the 1990s. Nanospectra commenced operations in 2002 to commercialize applications using these unique materials. In addition to the elimination of solid tumors, potential applications of AuroShell™ microparticles include cancer detection, the rapid, sensitive detection of biomolecules and biodefense agents, surface-enhanced Raman scattering, the treatment of macular degeneration, laser tissue welding, microfluidic devices, and optical protection.